TEL AVIV (Mar. 11)
Premier Golda Meir returned to Israel tonight after a 13-day visit to-the United States and assured her countrymen that there has been no change in the American policy of friendship and support for Israel. She said that, regrettably, there has been no change in the Arab position but that U.S. officials had neither asked nor hinted that Israel should change its attitude.
The Premier was greeted at Lod Airport by Cabinet and Knesset members, senior Army officers and her family. Returning aboard the same plane was Ambassador Yitzhak Rabin who terminated his duties in Washington last Friday. Meeting with reporters in the airport terminal, Mrs. Meir said of her trip to the U.S.: “It was important for us to know if there were any changes in the cooperation that we enjoy with the U.S. I am very glad to state, as was stated by the White House press officer, that the cooperation and assistance will continue.”
ISRAEL NOT OPPOSED TO U.S. INITIATIVE
Mrs. Meir said that Israel was not opposed to any American peace initiative and welcomed any action that might promote the possibility of peace. “What we opposed,” she said, “was one thing–that there shall be no foreign factor, that instead of conclusions and agreements we have to read with our neighbors, it will face us with accomplished facts, either in agreement with our neighbors or with other factors, and then exert pressure on us to accept it. On that last possibility, I found no sign in America. As to an initiative to promote peace, America wants things to start moving.”
She said, however, that she could only wish that a meeting with Arab leaders was close at hand. “I know of no such possibility” at this time, Mrs. Meir said. She added that after the murder of two American diplomats by Arab terrorists in Khartoum, the U.S. has become aware of Arab terror and its consequences. On the matter of Soviet Jewry, she said, “I brought up the question of Russian I Jewry in almost every talk I had in the U.S. and I found a great understanding of the problem among my listeners.”
Rabin refused to comment on his political future. However, he had great praise for Mrs Meir, He said there could have been no better conclusion to his tour in Washington than her visit there. He noted that American Jewry had demonstrated its deep affection for the Premier and its affinity for Israel in the warm receptions accorded Mrs. Meir wherever she went.