WASHINGTON (Feb. 21)
Israel Finance Minister Pinhas Sapir, in his second meeting with high level American officials within a week here, discussed yesterday with Treasury Secretary George Schultz the problems arising from the United States devaluation of the dollar. Sapir said afterwards that he and Schultz discussed Israel’s general problems stemming from the devaluation and whether “something can be done with the help of the United States government.” In this connection Sapir said that financial specialists from the Israeli Embassy here and the U.S. Treasury will continue explorations of requests for economic assistance. Sapir said he submitted these requests to U.S. Ambassador Walworth Barbour the day before the envoy left Israel last month to retire in the United States.
Discussing the effects of the devaluation of the dollar, Sapir said it resulted in an increase in prices of some European goods. He said he expected no change in Israeli trade with the United States, but he noted a possibility that Israel will seek to transfer some purchases it now makes in Europe to the U.S. Israel imports television sets and other electrical appliances from West Germany and other European countries.
When asked whether he was leaving Washington in an optimistic frame of mind, Sapir said “I always go with a feeling of realism. I know what is done and what has to be done.” During the U.S. fiscal year 1973 which ends June 30, $515 million was earmarked for Israel. Of this credits were extended totalling $300 million in military aid, $100 million in housing loans, $65 million in credits for the purchase of commodities under Public Law 480, and a grant of $50 million in supporting economic assistance. Sapir would not, however, discuss the specific elements of Israel’s requests for the new U.S. fiscal year beginning July 1.