JERUSALEM (Feb. 24)
Informed sources here confirmed as basically accurate reports published today that Israel and Mexico will sign an agreement to establish a plant in Mexico to manufacture Israel’s commercial jet aircraft, the Arava. The two countries will also discuss a possible joint petrochemical venture to be located in Mexico.
The report in Yediot Achronot said both ventures would be on the agenda of Foreign Minister Yigal Allon’s visit to Mexico City next week. The Foreign Minister and Mexican officials are expected to sign or at least initial the agreement for Mexico to assemble the Arava, a transport plane designed and built by Israel Aircraft Industries.
Another agenda item is the negotiation of an aviation agreement between Israel and Mexico which will include landing rights for El Al in Mexico City. The agreement will be initiated during Allon’s visit but the negotiations are likely to be protracted, the Yediot Achronot report said.
Officials here noted that Israel gives high priority to its commercial ventures with Mexico and that accounted in part for the dismay last year over Mexico’s vote in favor of the anti-Zionist resolution in the UN General Assembly. That issue has since been resolved in diplomatic contacts between the two countries.
Allon will visit three Central American countries–Guatemala; Nicaragua and Costa Rica–Foreign Ministry sources disclosed. His visits will be brief and his stop-over in Guatemala will be of only a few hours’ duration and in the form of a condolence call to that country recently ravaged by an earthquake. In Costa Rica, Allon will call on the President and address that country’s parliament.
Official sources here expressed hope that the Foreign Minister’s visit will have favorable repercussions throughout Central and South America where there has been a disturbing erosion of support for Israel in recent months. The officials said that after studying the results of the Foreign Minister’s visits to Central American countries, a decision would be made on further visits later this year to several South American countries.
Allon will stop at Paris for one day enroute to Mexico to lunch with French Foreign Minister Jean Sauvagnargues. One item on their agenda will be France’s alleged stalling on a financial pact between Israel and the nine European Common Market nations, sources here said.