Mrs. Meir Condemns U.S. Bombing of North Vietnam, but Responsibility for Continuing War Not One-side
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Mrs. Meir Condemns U.S. Bombing of North Vietnam, but Responsibility for Continuing War Not One-side

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Premier Golda Meir, attending the conference of the Socialist International, reportedly said today that Israel condemns the recent saturation bombing of North Vietnam but added that responsibility for continuing the Indo-China was not one-sided. According to Scandinavian delegates, who reportedly had some sharp questions for the Israeli Premier during the conference debate, Mrs. Meir and Austrian Chancellor Bruno Kreisky managed to prevent the adoption of a resolution blaming the United States for the breakdown of the Paris peace negotiations last month.

Mrs. Meir reportedly told the conference, which was closed to the press, that she would wait until the peace talks are concluded before taking a stand on the issue. Israeli sources refused to comment on these reports.

Francois Mitterand, First Secretary of the French Socialist Party, who addressed a press conference after today’s session, said that Mrs.Meir “stated Israel’s Middle East position” and “there was no debate.” The Jewish Telegraphic Agency learned from Scandinavian sources that a number of delegates questioned the Israeli leader, sometimes sharply. Among them was Premier Olaf Palme, an outspoken critic of the U.S. bombing of North Vietnam.

According to the sources, Mrs. Meir complained to the Scandinavian and other Socialist delegates that the “neutral countries” are not contributing to the security of “the Socialist state, Israel” which stands in danger of attack. At a reception offered by the French Senate afterwards, she chatted at length with Mitterand and other Socialist leaders. She was seen in deep conversation with the two Austrian delegates, Kreisky and Bruno Pitterman. (See additional conference story Page 3.)

While the delegates were in session, police forces continued to patrol in the Senate’s vicinity. Within the building Itself, security guards with police dogs patrolled the corridors. No newsmen were allowed inside the building. Eighty persons were arrested when several hundred demonstrators tried to march on the Paris Mosque in a silent demonstration in memory of Mahmoud el-Hamshari, the local representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization who died last Tuesday of injuries sustained when a bomb exploded in his home last month. A PLO and a Fatah delegation arrived in Paris to organize Hamshari’s funeral which is expected to take place here next week.

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