NEW YORK (Feb. 20)
Leon Dulzin, chairman of the World Zionist Organization and Jewish Agency Executives, declared on his arrival here this afternoon from a four-day visit to Mexico that the attitude toward Israel and Zionism in that country is positive. He based his assessment on an hour-long meeting he had last Friday with Mexico’s President Jose Lopez Portillo.
In an exclusive interview with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Dulzin described his audience with Lopez Portillo as “very cordial and worm.” He said he raised the question of Mexico’s vote in the United Nations General Assembly two years ago in favor of the Arab-inspired resolution equating Zionism with racism. The President responded, “Whatever was in the past forgotten and we have opened a new leaf;” Dulzin told the JTA.
He said he and the Mexican leader also discussed Mexico’s vast oil reserves which, according to Lopez Portillo, are equal to those of Saudi Arabia. But the President emphasized that if some think Mexican oil will be a substitute for Iranian oil they are mistaken, Dulzin reported. He said he got the impression that Mexico intends to develop its oil reserves gradually. He said he did not discuss the issue of Mexican oil for Israel but added, “I can only say there is hope that Mexico will consider positively Israel’s requests for oil.”
Dulzin said Lopez Portillo met with him and the Israeli Ambassador to Mexico, Shaul Rosolio, after a hectic schedule of talks with President Carter who visited Mexico last week. He said that by receiving him, Lopez Portillo wanted to demonstrate his warm feelings toward Israel. He quoted the President as saying that he viewed Israel as “one of the most wonderful phenomena of our times.”
According to Dulzin, Lopez Portillo also said that Israel’s achievements are the expression of the spiritual power of its people and noted that he is interested in the history of the Jewish people and closely follows events in Israel. Dulzin went to Mexico for meetings with Jewish and Zionist leaders there. While in Mexico City he addressed an audience of 1200 on behalf of the United Jewish Appeal in Mexico. He said it was one of the biggest meetings ever held by the Jewish community in the Mexican capital.