Johnson’s Envoy Opens Talks with Eshkol on Nuclear Desalination Plant

Ellsworth Bunker, President Johnson’s special envoy to Israel for further discussion on the projected, joint Israeli-USA plans for desalination of seawater, met today with Prime Minister Levi Eshkol. They opened the talks for the cooperation of the two governments in the construction of a plant in Israel that will use nuclear power for the production of electricity and the transforming of seawater into sweet water.

Ambassador Bunker, who arrived here last night, was accompanied by three experts from the United States. He met also with Foreign Minister Abba Eban, Minister of Agriculture Haim Givati, and Minister of Finance Pinhas Sapir. This afternoon, after those conferences, he toured the Negev and Lachish areas.

Israel is demanding that the United States finance the joint project under “very favorable” terms, through grants or credits so that the extraction of sweet water from saline content would result in a product cheap enough for use in this country. After his talks here, Mr. Bunker will report back to Washington.

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