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President of Brazil Thanks Israel for Technical Aid; Honors Shazar

President Castelo Branco of Brazil paid tribute last night, at a dinner in honor of visiting Israeli President Zalman Shazar, to Israel’s technical aid to Brazil.

He told a distinguished audience at the President’s Palace that the good understanding between his country and Israel was based not only on a common spiritual inheritance but also on Israel’s “success in putting modern science and technique in service for the welfare of humanity.

“I want publicly to express the thanks and gratitude of my government for the disinterested cooperation that Israel’s technicians are providing to communities in Brazil’s northeastern region, ” the Brazilian president said.

He stressed that Brazil intended to implement the commercial, technical and nuclear energy agreements it had signed previously with Israel. He added that he welcomed President Shazar not only as a President but as a friend.

In his response, President Shazar cited Israel’s pride in its ties of cooperation and friendship with Brazil. He said Brazil “gave refuge more than once to the children of my people, persecuted and exiled from their fatherland during millenniums.” Declaring that there was no justification for the use of force to solve conflicts between nations, Mr. Shazar said that the Jews never left completely their birthplace in the Middle East and had now returned for good as a free and sovereign people.

“Our only desire, ” President Shazar continued, “is to be integrated in a most constructive way in the life of the region to which we belong and we are always ready to share with near and distant neighbors the fruits of neighborliness.”

More than 100 persons took part in the kosher dinner, including Cabinet Ministers, Army leaders, Israel Ambassador Joseph Nahmias and Aluysio Regis Bittencourt, Brazil’s Ambassador to Israel. Brazilian Jewry was represented by Dr. Moises Kaufman, president of the Confederation of Brazilian Jewish Communities; Dr. Samuel Malamud, the Confederation secretary general; and Aaron Steinbruch, executive member of the World Jewish Congress.

A ceremony was held before the dinner in the National Congress building. The Congress, now in winter recess, named a Parliamentary Commission to pay respect to the visiting Israeli President. Deputy Cunha Bueno praised Israel’s development and the Jews of Brazil for their contributions to Brazil’s development. Senora Julia Steinbruch, wife of the Jewish Senator, presented Mrs. Shazar, in the name of the Congress, with two precious stones. The ceremony ended with President Shazar accepting the first of a special series of Brazilian postage stamps bearing his portrait issued specially for his visit.

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