Johnson Welcomes Shazar at White House; Stresses U.S. Commitments
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Johnson Welcomes Shazar at White House; Stresses U.S. Commitments

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President Lyndon B. Johnson today warmly welcomed President Zalman Shazar of Israel at the White House where a friendly ceremonial exchange took place highlighted by a personal report on Latin America requested of the Israeli leader by the U. S. President.

The President accompanied Mr. Shazar to the White House Rose Garden and there explained to him that the United States would stand behind its commitments not only in the Viet Nam situation but also in other parts of the world. President Johnson also referred to U. S. aid to Israel and the long-pending desalination project.

President Johnson appeared with President Shazar in front of the White House, clasping hands, to be televised together. Mr. Johnson was heard telling Mr. Shazar that he looked forward to the formal dinner to be tendered at the White House tonight in honor of the Israeli President. Mr. and Mrs. Shazar were then taken across Pennsylvania Avenue to Blair House, the official guest residence for distinguished foreign visitors. The Shazars are staying there at the invitation of President Johnson. Accompanying the Shazar party today was Walworth Barbour, U. S. Ambassador to Israel.


The White House audience followed in the wake of an impressive official reception tendered the Shazar party on arrival aboard an aircraft provided by President Johnson. Vice-President Hubert H. Humphrey enthusiastically greeted Mr. Shazar as he alighted at the U. S. Military Air Terminal. Mr. Humphrey, in a brief exchange with Mr. Shazar, emphasized that President Johnson was very interested in having a report on the Shazar visit to Latin America.

An honor guard of elite troops stood at attention and flags of both Israel and America were displayed. Mrs. Humphrey presented a bouquet of roses to Mr. and Mrs. Shazar as did eight-year-old Shaily Patir, the daughter of Israel Embassy Counsellor Dan Patir. Among those welcoming the Israelis was Raymond Hare, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, and James Symington, U. S. Chief of Protocol.

Following his lengthy White House meeting with President Johnson, Mr. Shazar said: “I had a very good talk with the President and have been made to feel once again, as when we first met in 1963, the depth of his understanding of Israel, of our desire for peace and security, of our progress and our problems.” He added that “I believe that the ties of friendship between our two countries are very close and our conversation today was the latest expression of this.”

The Israeli President disclosed that he had “the opportunity of telling President Johnson something of my visits to Uruguay, Chile and Brazil and of the unforgettable memories of the kindness and understanding I experienced in these countries. I am very happy indeed to have this opportunity to spend a couple of days in Washington on my way home. I bring back with me to my people the conviction of real understanding and harmony between our two countries,” he stated.


President Shazar and President Johnson were together for over an hour. As they parted company until they meet again tonight at the White House dinner in honor of the President of Israel, Mr. Shazar told President Johnson that “I would like to see you as my guest in Israel.” In his meetings with President Johnson and other functions today, Mr. Shazar was accompanied by Ambassador Avraham Harman, Minister Ephraim Evron of the Israel Embassy, and other members of the Embassy.

A luncheon tendered in honor of President Shazar by Secretary-General Dr. Jose Mora of the Organization of American States drew a response from the Israeli President, who declared he was particularly pleased to be a guest of the OAS which, he said, sought human freedom and progress in Latin America. He reviewed his visit to Uruguay, Chile, and Brazil and said it was indicative of “the close understanding which exists between my country and all the countries of this organization.”

Mr. Shazar told how OAS relations with Israel have been strengthened “in many constructive ways.” He said: “We in Israel are greatly encouraged by this development and for our part will do all we can to strengthen these relations.” OAS officials noted Israel’s constructive role in aiding the development of Latin American nations.

President Shazar, following the luncheon attended by many Latin American ambassadors, was present at a ceremony at which a new agreement involving the Organization of American States, the Inter-American Development Bank and Israel. Dr. Mora signed a technical assistance agreement providing for the training of Latin American rural development teams by Israel experts. The Inter-American Development Bank is contributing $122, 000 to the cost.

Tonight the Shazars are the guests of the President and Mrs. Johnson at a White House dinner. The President told Mr. Shazar that he was having some difficulty about that function because everybody wanted to come. This afternoon Mrs. Avraham Harman, wife of the Ambassador, served a luncheon at the Ambassador’s residence honoring Mrs. Shazar. The luncheon was attended by Mrs. Hubert H. Humphrey and other distinguished ladies.

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