LONDON (Jul. 26)
The British Government has no intention of “deserting our traditional friends in the Middle East or of altering our relations to the Arab-Israel dispute,” Prime Minister Harold Wilson told the House of Commons today.
Participating in Parliament’s foreign affairs debate, the Prime Minister touched on the Middle East. He said that, as part of the Government’s efforts to improve relations in that region, he had “envisaged, at the earliest possible moment, a visit by a senior Foreign Office Minister to Cairo” to try to improve relations with Egypt.
“This is still our intention,” he asserted. But, he declared, such a visit is not possible now, while the Egyptian regime is still engaged “in a series of subversive, terrorist actions which make it impossible for us to acquit Egypt and her friends of connivance, even involvement.”
The Labor Government’s leader in the House of Commons said today: “I declare on behalf of Her Majesty’s Government that we intend to maintain our friendly ties with Israel.” The speaker. Herbert Bowden, addressed a luncheon in the House of Commons given under the auspices of the Labor Friends of Israel and the Poale Zion in honor of Israel’s new Ambassador here, Aharon Remez.
Mr. Bowden voiced special greetings to the Labor Friends of Israel from Prime Minister Wilson. He said that, while the Government is trying to improve relations with the Arab states, it is not prepared to do so at the expense of Israel. He paid warm tribute to “the remarkable achievements” of the Jewish State and its labor movement, and spoke about the “friendly ties uniting the British Labor Party and Mapai.”