Israel Barred from Dinner Given by Southeast Asian Nations Group

Israel has been barred from participating in a dinner here tonight given by the Association of South East Asian Nattions (ASEAN) in honor of all the participants in the International Conference on Kampuchia which opened here today.

An invitation to Israel, which is participating in the conference, was withdrawn by the hosts of the dinner without an explanation and without a written notice, Israeli diplomats said today. UN sources here said that the withdrawal of the invitation was prompted by pressure applied by Moslem countries which are members of ASEAN.

According to Israeli diplomats, the invitation to Israel to participate in the dinner was withdrawn by a telephone call last Thursday. The next day, on Friday, Ambassador Tommy Koh of Singapore, who is chairman of the ASEAN, called Israel’s UN Ambassador Yehuda Blum and apologized for the withdrawal of the invitation. But Koh, Israeli diplomats said, was not able to provide any satisfactory explanation “for this extraordinary breach of etiquette.”

Blum expressed surprise today at these developments and charged that the withdrawal of the invitation “broke the elementary norm of courtesy and good manners toward a representative of another state. Such a slight can only be regarded as yet another indication of the serious deterioration in the civilized conduct in international affairs that characterized the UN in recent years.” (By Yitzhak Rabi)

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