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Peres: Suspension of Talks Did Not Spell the End of the World

Defense Minister Shimon Peres said last night that the suspension of the Israeli-Egyptian talks conducted by Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger last month did not spell “the end of the world” nor did it mark the end of contacts between Israel and the Arab world. Addressing a mass rally of North African Jews at the annual Mimona festivities at the Tel Aviv Sports Stadium, Peres stressed that the problem of the Middle East was neither military nor diplomatic but a question of the desire by the people of the region for peace and social development or a reversion to war.

If the Arabs decide to take up arms again they will find a strong and armed Israel, the Defense Minister declared. He said that the present period of intensive political activity required complete national unity in Israel. Minima festivals were held in Haifa, Jerusalem, Beersheba and other parts of Israel today.