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Mrs. Meir in Britain; Will Seek Clarification of British Mideast Policy

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Premier Golda Meir of Israel arrived here from Canada last night without fanfare and under tight security arrangements. She will spend most of today and this evening in meetings with Anglo-Jewish leaders and Jewish leaders from the Continent who have come to Britain to see her. Tomorrow afternoon she has a working meeting with Prime Minister Edward Heath which will also be attended by Foreign Secretary Sir Alec Douglas-Home. Mrs. Meir is expected to ask for a clarification of British Mideast policy which was stated by Sir Alec in a speech at Harrogate Saturday that has been bitterly criticized by Israel. Essentially the same statement of policy was made to the United Nations General Assembly in New York yesterday by the British Ambassador, Sir Colin Crowe. Israeli spokesmen here claim that the British Foreign Secretary went beyond the spirit of the Security Council’s Resolution 242 of Nov. 22. 1967 and gave it a pro-Arab slant. Sir Colin Crowe’s ardent defense yesterday of Resolution 242 in the General Assembly reportedly mollified Israeli feelings somewhat. He made it clear that Britain would not support any attempts by the Assembly to alter the resolution thereby upsetting its delicate balance.

Mrs. Meir’s meetings with British leaders are expected to be cordial. Mr. Heath will give a luncheon in her honor Thursday which will be attended by Sir Alec and other senior officials and by Israeli Ambassador Michael Comay. Embassy Minister Eitan Ruppin and senior members of Mrs. Meir’s entourage. Premier Meir will return to Israel Friday. Duncan Sandys, a Conservative MP and former Minister, said today that “any settlement in the Mideast must clearly afford Israel a reasonable prospect of future peace behind secure and recognized borders as stipulated by Resolution 242.” The Times said editorially today that Israel has two legitimate grounds for criticizing Sir Alec’s speech. First, it said nothing about Russian missiles which are “the real stumbling block to a settlement…The missile moves were bad precedent and Israel has a right to go on pointing to them.” the Times said. Secondly. Sir Alec’s reference to Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights “is clearly ridiculous.” However, the Times went on “The Israelis weaken their case when they treat return to the 1967 frontiers as treason.” Norman Fowler, a Conservative MP said today that he could understand Israeli sensitivity to any changes in Britain’s Mideast policy which they claim to have detected in Sir Alec’s speech. “Yet in the case of Sir Alec’s speech, I believe they have over-reacted,” he stated in an article published in the Evening News.

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