STRASBOURG, France (Sep. 27)
Foreign Minister Abba S. Eban of Israel suggested today to the assembly of the 18-nation Council of Europe that steps towards a solution of Middle East tensions could be made through an economic union of Israel, Jordan and Lebanon. He said that a tri-national economic union should include free ports and open frontiers while the sovereignty of all three nations was respected.
Mr. Eban said, “A new era of development could open up…It is perhaps Utopian, but these three countries should form an independent economic community with free ports and open frontiers. There should be regional solidarity, while sovereignty would be respected.”
The Israeli Foreign Minister said that “as for the possibilities of cooperation between Israel and Jordan, three elements are involved — conditions of peace would permit the opening to Jordan of the Port of Haifa; joint exploitation of the Dead Sea would be possible, notably for mineral resources; and finally it would be possible to create a common port on the Gulf of Akaba.” The last reference was an apparent idea of fusion of the Jordanian port of Akaba with the Israeli port of Eilat.