Medici Says He Understands Israel’s Position on Territories

Italy’s Foreign Minister, Guiseppe Medici expressed understanding today, in talks with Israeli leaders, for Israel’s refusal to withdraw completely from the administered territories, the Egyptian precondition for talks for an interim agreement, senior officials here told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

Medici, who is here on a four-day official visit, met for an hour with Premier Golda Meir and for nearly an hour with Foreign Minister Abba Eban. He said Italy wanted to see the Suez Canal reopened, the goal of proposals by the Nixon Administration for interim talks and that his country was concerned at the continued Middle East impasse. But the Italian diplomat did not present any new plans of his own, the officials said.

Medici also reportedly gave a sympathetic hearing to Israeli statements of Israel’s needs in the agreement with the European Economic Community, of which Italy is a member, which is to be negotiated this year. Eban also urged that European governments take stronger action to apprehend and punish Arab terrorists. Eban said Israel was gratified by increased preventive measures taken by those governments but said their judicial and punitive actions were inadequate.

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