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Golda Ready to Meet Bourguiba but Rejects Proposal for a Palestinian State

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Premier Golda Meir says she is prepared to meet with President Habib Bourguiba without preconditions but has rejected in advance his proposal for the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state.

There is no room for a Palestinian State between Israel and the Jordan River as the Tunisian President suggested, Mrs. Meir told Israeli high school pupils at a question-and-answer session over the week-end.

She said that it “depends 100 percent on President Bourguiba” whether he and she ever meet to discuss a solution of the Middle East conflict.

Foreign Minister Abba Eban reiterated over the week-end his call to the Tunisian leader to make contact with Israel through diplomatic channels to arrange a time and place for a meeting.

Eban, addressing Bourguiba on a radio interview, said that “There are some 60 or 70 capital cities or international centers in which both Tunisia and Israel are represented. Please choose one of them and let “us” know when and where and at what level you want to meet with us.”

Mrs. Meir observed that the things Bourguiba has said publicly so far were not encouraging with regard to a solution of the Arab-Israel conflict. She mentioned specifically his reference to the 1947 partition boundaries as a starting point for discussion of territorial questions.

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