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Simon Stresses Need for Israel to Stabilize Economy Rather Than Depending on U.S. for Economic Aid

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U.S. Treasury Secretary William Simon wound up his talks with Israeli officials today by stressing the need for Israel to develop means to stabilize her economy rather than depending on American financial aid. He assured Premier Yitzhak Rabin of continued American support for Israel’s security and development. Before leaving for Saudi Arabia, Simon told reporters at Ben Gurion Airport that he has invited Israeli Finance Minister Yehoshua Rabinowitz to come to Washington in Nov, by which time the long-term aid discussed during his visit will be worked out.

Earlier in a joint communique issued in Jerusalem, Simon and Israeli officials announced the establishment of a joint economic committee on which both Simon and Rabinowitz will serve to boost American investment in Israel and encourage bilateral trade. An investment council may also be established to seek greater investment by American firms in Israel. The talks were described as the first step toward implementing the economic sections of the joint communique issued by Rabin and President Nixon during Nixon’s visit to Israel June 17.

Meanwhile, four working groups will study ways to encourage American investment in Israel, plans for a regular supply of raw material to Israel from the U.S., the possibility of cooperation between the two countries in industrial research and a plan to encourage trade between the two countries. Simon, who had visited Egypt before coming to Israel, said he was impressed by Egypt’s sincere intention to develop a peacetime economy. He said that economic aid will only work if peace is achieved in the Middle East.

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