OTTAWA (May. 21)
President Zalman Shazar of Israel began his official visit to Canada today in an official ceremony held on Parliament Hill here where he was welcomed by Governor General Ronald Michener, Prime Minister Lester Pearson, the entire Canadian Federal Cabinet, members of the Diplomatic Corps, a guard of honor and a salute of 21 guns.
President Shazar and his party left Montreal at noon on a special train provided by the Canadian Government. At the Ottawa railroad station, the President was welcomed by the Canadian Chief of Protocol and was escorted in a motorcade to Parliament Hill. After reviewing the special guard of honor, Mr. Shazar was greeted by the Governor General and the Prime Minister of Canada. In his response, President Shazar expressed the gratitude of the people of Israel, Mrs. Shazar and himself for the Canadian invitation to participate in the Centennial celebration of Canada.
The President expressed Israel’s appreciation for the well-fostered friendly relations which have developed between the two countries and also voiced Israel’s hope and desire for peace to prevail everywhere. In concluding his address, President Shazar declared: “Today, from our far-off old-new land far from you in space but close to you in heartfelt sympathy, we bring to the celebration of your centenary tidings of thankfulness for the strong ties of friendship between you and us, and of hope and prayer that your great country may continue to flourish and that true peace and brotherhood may reign amongst all the nations of the world.”
The President and Mrs. Shazar were cheered by the crowd that surrounded Parliament Hill. After the diplomatic corps and the Federal Cabinet were introduced to the President, Mr. Shazar and his party left Parliament Hill for Government House where he is staying as the guest of the Governor General. In the evening, Governor General and Mrs. Michener were the hosts at a state dinner for President and Mrs. Shazar at Government House and attended by the Canadian Cabinet as well as by distinguished leaders from all walks of life.
COMMENTS ON EGYPT’S CONCENTRATION OF TROOPS AT ISRAEL’S BORDER
Before leaving Montreal, President Shazar received this morning a delegation from the Canadian Jewish Congress, headed by Samuel Bronfman. The delegation included leaders of major Canadian Jewish organizations as well as of allied Jewish community services. Last night, the President received a delegation of the Farband-Labor Zionist Organization and Mrs. Shazar received a delegation from the Pioneer Women of Canada.
On his arrival in Montreal, President Shazar said: “It is not our intention, in the least, to provoke or attack any of our neighbors, but if it is Egypt’s intention to provoke us, or Syria’s policy to continue aggressive actions against our territory, there can be no doubt that we will defend our state and people as we should.”
The President, in his statement, replied to a reporter who asked him about the current situation in the Middle East. The President said that “the very fact that my trip to represent Israel at the Centennial celebration of Canada, has proceeded as it was planned many weeks ago, should serve as proof that Israel is not overcome by nervousness, even though it is deeply concerned by the hostile concentration of Egyptian troops. We wish to hope that the nations of the world will distinguish clearly between aggressors and defenders and that all who love peace will help us to ensure the peace and tranquil development of our country and the entire Middle East.”
President Shazar will receive tomorrow morning, Prime Minister Pearson for talks and later will pay visits to the Ottawa City Hall and the Jewish Community Center here. After attending a luncheon to be given by Prime Minister Pearson, President Shazar and his party will travel by the special presidential train back to Montreal where he will be accorded an official reception by Mayor Jean Drapeau.