Four African Presidents to Tour Israel

Foreign Ministry officials said today that the four African Presidents who are reportedly planning to visit Israel will be welcomed if they come and will be given every opportunity to see anything and meet anyone they want. The Ministry had not been officially informed of the visit by today, but reliable reports from the Congo (Kinshasa) said the African leaders will arrive here before the Sept. 21 opening in New York of the United Nations General Assembly. Two of the four Presidents have never been to Israel–Leopold-Sedar Senghor of Senegal and Maj. Gen. Yakubu Gowon of Nigeria. Senghor’s stand on the Arab-Israeli conflict has been unofficially described as generally pro-Arab. Gowon, Israeli sources say, has been acting “correctly,” but Egypt actively supported him in the civil war against Biafra and gave him planes with Egyptian pilots. Israel remained neutral in the Nigerian-Biafran conflict. The other two African leaders due here are Lt. Gen. Joseph D. Mobutu of the Congo (Kinshasa) and President Ahmadou Ahidjo of Cameroon. Mobutu is regarded as a friend of Israel, and in fact received his paratrooper’s wings in an Israeli Army training camp. Cameroon’s relations with Israel are considered good, although Cameroon gets most of its economic aid from France.

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