Mrs. Meir Did Not Snub Wife of Gabon’s President; Was Attending Barzilal Funeral

A Foreign Ministry spokesman explained today that Premier Golda Meir’s presence at the funeral of Minister-Without-Portfolio Israel Barzilai had prevented her from receiving the visiting wife of Gabonese President Albert-Bernard Bongo. Gabon had recalled its ambassador over the incident, charging Mrs. Meir had snubbed her First Lady despite an invitation. Diplomatic relations, however, have not been severed, as the Gabonese Embassy here continues in operation. Israeli Ambassador David Ephrati is attempting to smooth over the incident with Gabonese officials in Libreville. Gabon is the smallest of the former French Equatorial Africa territories.

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