Menu JTA Search

Eban Urges Creation of Mediterranean Community Including Israel, Arab States

Foreign Minister Abba Eban of Israel appealed today to the nations of Europe to demonstrate “understanding of Israel’s claim to negotiate with its neighbors” and to prevent the laying down of any imposed solution to the Middle East conflict. Eban addressed the Council of Europe General Assembly here of which he is the guest of honor. The Council of Europe consists of the representatives of the parliamentary assemblies of 17 West European state. Eban urged the creation of “a Mediterranean community,” which would include Israel and the Arab states and other nations bordering on the Mediterranean.

He said such an organization would derive its inspiration from the Council of Europe. He also asked for Israel’s inclusion in the group of “developing countries to which the European Common Market is prepared to grant special tariff preferences.” Eban said Israel’s exclusion from the list “could only be based on political discrimination dictated by Arab hostility.” Unless Israel is granted the same customs right, “our preferential agreement with the EEC would be effectively annuled,” he said. He asked the Council to support all action on behalf of persecuted Jewish minorities in Russia and Syria which, he said, should be granted the right to choose their country of residence.

NEXT STORY