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Danish Minister Says Mideast Conflict is Not the Cause of the World Crisis

The Mideast conflict is not the underlying cause of the present world economic crisis, Danish Foreign Minister Ove Guldberg declared here today. Guldberg, on a four-day visit to Israel, met reporters at the King David Hotel having concluded talks with Foreign Minister Yigal Allon and a session with Premier Yitzhak Rabin. He said that even if the Arab-Israeli conflict were to be resolved, the world would not be free of the threat of a depression as serious as that of 1929. The problem was prices–and prices were set not only by the Arabs.

Guldberg agreed that the quadrupling of oil prices had coincided and perhaps been sparked by the Yom Kippur War, but the problem of prices of raw materials had since then grown far beyond the Israel-Arab conflict and developed a dangerous momentum of its own. He called for cooperation between the nations of the Western industrialized world, and dialogue with the producer states and warned: “We don’t have much time.”

On the Mideast issue, Guldberg said that for the EEC, as for the Nordic group, to both of which Denmark belongs, the right of Israel to exist within its own borders and secure was not in question. Denmark, as one of the states that had voted Israel into existence, felt a responsibility to help provide for its security. However, Israel’s creation has caused a problem “to others” and Denmark sought a balanced policy between Israel and the Arab Palestinians, Guldberg said.

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