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Israel President Addresses Joint Session of Congress in Chile

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Israel’s President Zalman Shazar assured a joint session of the Chilean Congress here today that his Government, always “a pursuer of peace,” will continue along that path, driving toward “direct negotiations between countries as the surest road toward the solution of all problems and the welfare and progress of all mankind.”

Mr. Shazar voiced that pledge, obviously aimed at a hope for ultimate direct peace negotiations with the Arab states–without mentioning any country specifically–as he spoke from the podium of the joint session, this morning, of the Chilean Senate and Chamber of Deputies.

Today was the second day of President Shazar’s scheduled eight-day visit to Chile, his second stop on a six-week tour of four Latin American states. The Israeli President arrived at Santiago’s international airport four and a half hours late, yesterday, after a stormy trip from Montevideo, Uruguay. He received a very hearty reception from the Government. His official host on the state visit is President Eduardo Frei.

The Chilean President’s welcoming committee included the leaders of the Cabinet and Congress, Catholic dignitaries and the commanding generals and admirals of Chile’s armed forces. With great fanfare, his cavalcade, headed by one automobile carrying the two Presidents, and a second car with the wives of the Presidents, was driven to the Government’s official, palatial residence for the most honored foreign guests.

In spite of his rough air trip from Montevideo, topped by the ceremonies attendant upon his arrival here, the 76-year-old Israeli President was reported to have had a good night’s rest. This morning before he appeared at the joint session of Congress, Mr. Shazar participated in a solemn ceremony before the monument to Chile’s national hero, Bernardo O’Higgins, where he laid a wreath at the base of the memorial.

So far, President Shazar and President Frei have had only one short, private talk, when they conferred briefly last night. They are scheduled to confer at greater length before the official visit is over.

President Shazar and his advisers were today considering the possibility of canceling his forthcoming visit to Argentina in view of the political crisis which erupted there yesterday. A spokesman for the party said that they were watching for further developments in the situation. President Shazar was scheduled to arrive in Argentina next Monday. (In Buenos Aires, the Israel Embassy informed the Jewish Telegraphic Agency today that preparations for the visit by President Shazar were “continuing as before” despite the political unrest in that country.)

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