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Eban in Italy Marks First Official Visit to That Country by Israeli Cabinet Minister

Foreign Minister Abba Eban arrived here for four days of meetings with top Italian officials. It was the first official visit to Italy ever made by an Israeli Cabinet Minister. Mr. Eban will hold formal and informal working conferences with Italian Foreign Minister Aldo Moro. He is also scheduled to meet with President Giuseppe Saragat, Premier Mariano Rumor, Deputy Premier Francisco de Martino and Senate President Amintore Fanfani. The invitation extended to Mr. Eban was viewed here as an important step in Italy’s new diplomatic efforts to bring about a peaceful settlement in the Mideast. Foreign Minister Moro recently visited Cairo where he conferred with Egypt’s President Gamal Abdel Nasser. Shortly after his arrival here today, Mr. Eban met with Mayor Clelio Darida and municipal officials. Mr. Darida recounted the important role of Rome in Jewish history and noted that Jewish presence had left its marks in Roman history. He pointed out that the cordial and fraternal feelings of the Roman population toward Jews did not subside even during the days of fascism. Mr. Darida said that even the Nazis complained about hostility of the Romans against anti-Jewish persecutions. The mayor expressed admiration for Israel’s social and political organizations which he said was governed by humanity and reason. Mr. Eban responded by noting the “Mediterranean solidarity” between the two nations and peoples and the powerful links between the two peoples in recent common sufferings and in the conceptions of civilization which they represent.

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