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Dayan Urges Israel to Seek Closer Ties with South Africa

Former Defense Minister Moshe Dayan returned yesterday from a 20-day visit to South Africa and urged Israel to seek closer ties with that country. South Africa is a progressive country which is carrying out a huge development program and despite some restrictions it belongs to the free world, Dayan said. He said there are some things about South Africa that should be criticized and Israel does not need to hide its criticism. But he said this need not prevent good relations with South Africa. Dayan repeated his statement made in South Africa that he does not see a new war in the next two or three months and that he hopes negotiations with the Arabs will continue.

Before he left South Africa Sunday, after his visit as a guest of the South African Foundation, Dayan spoke as both a friend and a critic of that nation. “I am one of your admirers and I believe you have many friends,” he said in an interview with South Africa’s Prime Minister and Defense Minister Botha. But, he added, all countries, including Israel and South Africa, could benefit by studying criticism levelled against them.

Referring to South Africa’s law which forbids miscegenation, Dayan said: “I find it impossible to understand how, in 1974, a government can believe it has the right to dictate that certain couples cannot marry because they are of different races, are not permitted to be friends or to marry. This situation I find impossible to justify.”

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