Euromart Council Indicates Readiness to Consider Israel’s Request

The Council of the European Economic Community reiterated here its intention to consider on December 6 procedures for handling Israel’s request for a comprehensive agreement with the six-nation Euromart bloc. Israel has a limited agreement now which will expire at the end of next June. It has formally asked for either a much more comprehensive agreement or for associate status.

The Council noted that there had been “progress” in talks with Austria, Spain, Israel and the Maghreb (North Africa) countries. It was agreed that the issues would be discussed when the Foreign Ministers of the six nations of which the Council is composed meet with the Council on December 6-7. In regard to Israel, the Council indicated that the basic decision was whether the EEC Commission should be asked to initiate exploratory talks to sound out Israeli wishes or whether the six countries should first consider the issue.

In a related problem, the EEC Commission said it could not make an anticipated decision authorizing use of a chemical called duphenyl which is used by Israel and other countries shipping citrus fruits to Euromart countries by sea to protect the fruit in transit. The Commission asked the Council of Ministers to extend the present temporary authorization to use duphenyl for another six months until June 1967 when the Council will, it was hoped, make a final decision. Without the use of some such preservative, Israeli citrus would spoil before arrival.

NEXT STORY