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Harmel Ends Israel Visit; Cites Europe’s Interest in Mideast

Foreign Minister Pierre Harmel, of Belgium ended his official visit to Israel today with the assertion that the nations of Western Europe have vital interests in the Middle East and therefore have agreed to a united political stand. His remark was taken as a reference to the working paper drafted by the six member nations of the European Common Market in May, still not released officially, to which Israel has taken exception. The draft document, reflecting French influence, calls for Israel’s withdrawal from all occupied Arab territories and an internationalized Jerusalem. Harmel said he was convinced more than ever that there is a chance for lasting peace in the region. He told newsmen at Lydda Airport today that in his opinion President Anwar Sadat of Egypt is ready for peace with Israel and that the question of refugees should be settled with the question of borders. Harmel visited Egypt, Syria and Lebanon recently. Asked about Israel’s relations with the Common Market, the Belgian diplomat said his government would support closer ties between Israel and the ECC. Foreign Minister Abba Eban accompanied Harmel to the airport.

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