NEW YORK (Jan. 16)
Prime Minister Levi Eshkol and his party arrived at J. F. Kennedy International Airport from Ottawa this morning in a plane provided by the Royal Canadian Air Force and took off in an El Al plane shortly afterwards for London. The Israeli leader is scheduled to meet there with Prime Minister Harold Wilson of Britain and Foreign Secretary George Brown. He will return to Israel on Thursday to report to the Cabinet on his trip to the United States, Canada and England.
Mr. Eshkol will attend a luncheon in London tomorrow to be given in his honor by Israel’s Ambassador to Great Britain. Guests will include Foreign Secretary Brown, members of parliament and of the diplomatic corps and leaders of British Jewry.
In London today, British Foreign Office and Israeli sources reiterated that neither Mr. Eshkol nor Prime Minister Wilson had any specific issues to raise with each other at their meeting, although they will certainly discuss the opening of the Suez Canal in which Britain is particularly interested.
Israeli circles described as “absolute nonsense” a press statement in the Guardian that Israel was seriously concerned over Britain’s speedy pull-out of the Persian Gulf area. Israel never relied on the British presence for her security and expected no British contribution to her security now, they said.
Prime Minister Eshkol made no statement on his departure from Kennedy airport. Members of his official party described his visit to North America as “satisfactory and successful” but withheld further comment pending the Prime Minister’s report to the Cabinet in Jerusalem. Mr. Eshkol was bid farewell at the airport by senior members of the Israeli diplomatic corps in the United States and by the Chief of Protocol of the Canadian Foreign Office who accompanied him as far as New York as a representative of the Canadian Government.
Mr. Eshkol’s 4-day visit to Canada ended officially last night with a reception given by the Israeli leader for his hosts. Attending were Prime Minister Lester Pearson of Canada and members of his cabinet and former Prime Minister John Diefenbacher. Later, some 2,000 persons braved a heavy snow storm and sub-zero temperatures to attend a rally in Eshkol’s honor given by the Jewish community of Ottawa.