Ethiopian Emperor Tells Arabs Israel is Fact; Assailed by Syrians

Haile Selassie, the Ethiopian Emperor, became the target of Syrian charges yesterday, on his arrival in Jordan from Beirut, of being part of the “Imperialist, Zionist plot against the Arabs,” it was reported here today from Beirut. The Emperor evoked Syrian wrath by a statement he made at a banquet in his honor in Beirut at which he said: “That we recognize Israel is a fact. We accord this recognition to Israel not out of any urge to harm our Arab brothers but because of historical factors and national policy.”

The Damascus press immediately interpreted his explanation as demonstrating that his visit to Jordan, with which Syria is currently in sharp dispute, was part of the “imperialist plot.” In his Beirut address, the Emperor said that, when Ethiopia recognized Israel, “we neither lost sight of the misfortune in which the Palestinian refugees find themselves today, nor our responsibility to seek solutions to their problems. That is why we made it our policy to support at the United Nations their repatriation or compensation for their property in Israel.”

Another press dispatch today reported that Ethiopia had asked Israel to train an Ethiopian force in counter-insurgency techniques, to cope with Egyptian efforts to enable Arabs in Eritrea to revolt against Ethiopia. Eritrea came under Ethiopian jurisdiction in 1962.

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