JERUSALEM (Aug. 1)
Foreign Minister Abba Eban leaves next week for official visits to Brazil and Bolivia, two of Israel’s best friends in Latin America. Details of the Itinerary are being kept unpublished for security reasons.
The purpose of the visits will be twofold, Dr. Joel Barroml, head of the Foreign Ministry’s Latin American Department, told newsmen here today: to tighten already close and friendly relations between Israel and the two countries and for Eban to review the Israeli aid and cooperation programs going ahead in each.
Both visits are technically return trips. Bolivia’s Foreign Minister Mario Gutierrez was here in 1971, and Brazil’s Foreign Minister Mario Gibson Barboza in Feb. 1973. Barromi said Eban was planning a further South American trip after the fall elections. Both Brazil and Bolivia are not members of the non-aligned bloc of 56 nations which is so consistently hostile to Israel in the UN and other forums. On the contrary, both have sympathetic voting records on the issue of the Middle East.
Brazil was the first Latin American country to receive Israeli aid when an agricultural team was sent there in 1962. Eban will visit the team and see its work in the Recife area. He will also broach with Barboza the issue of scientific cooperation and possibly arrange for an exchange of scientific missions. Israel views Brazil as an important and potentially major power in science as well as politics.
Eban will also visit Jewish communities in Rio and Sao Paulo. There are some 150,000 Jews in Brazil and about 2000 in Bolivia. The Minister will be accompanied by Ephraim Evron, the deputy director general of the Foreign Ministry.