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Sapir Doubts U.S. Will Apply Economic Pressure to Force Israel to Make Concessions

Finance Minister Pinhas Sapir, returning from talks with American officials on additional aid to Israel said last night that he believed “America would not resort to applying economic pressures in order to force Israel into making political concessions.” The Nixon administration, he said, is very sympathetic to Israel’s request for another $500 million in military and economic credits, and a second round of talks will be held this summer. As an example of that sympathy, he said, the U.S. guaranteed him a $50 million loan for the construction of 5,000 housing units for immigrants and young couples. Sapir said he was most impressed during his Washington visit with an unofficial talk he had with Joseph J. Sisco, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and Southeast Asian Affairs. But the Israeli diplomat would not say what they discussed. Sapir, who is also Minister of Commerce and Industry, added that–on the basis of his talks with political and Jewish leaders in the countries he visited–devotion to Israel is at an unprecedented peak. Sapir said that the various Jewish communities he visited in Europe are continuing to make a supreme effort to achieve the goals of the fund raisings for Israel. “The devotion to Israel is unprecedented.” He added that chances are good that the increased income in the funds would be fulfilled. Sapir noted that the $50 million loan guaranteed by the American government will be earmarked for the construction of 5,000 housing units for immigrants and young couples arriving in Israel.