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Israel Mum on Big Powers Talks with Lebanon on Jordan Waters Diversion

Reports that Prime Minister Levi Eshkol has met recently with Ambassadors of the United States, Britain, France and the Soviet Union to warn them against consequences which may result from work by neighboring Arab countries, especially Lebanon, to divert Jordan River waters from Israel, were neither confirmed nor denied today by the Foreign Office here.

Israeli officials would only say that, in the last few months, Israeli diplomatic representatives in various capitals have expressed concern over the water diversion plans in the Arab states, and that these contacts are still continuing.

Meanwhile, it was learned here today that the water diversion work reported to have been started now by Lebanon was discussed at yesterday’s meeting of the Israel Cabinet. Premier Eshkol reviewed the latest developments before the members of the Cabinet.

A Foreign Office spokesman here also refused today to comment on reports from Beirut that the Ambassadors there from the United States, Britain, France and the Soviet Union made representations to the Lebanese Government concerning Lebanon’s resumption of a project intended to divert one of the stream ultimately feeding the Jordan River. The Beirut reports stated that the representations followed “a move by Israel.”