Begin Meets with Doe

Premier Menachem Begin met today with Liberian President Samuel Doe and complimented him on the courage of his decision to renew diplomatic relations with Israel and to visit Jerusalem.

Doe, in turn, promised to do everything in his power to influence other Black African heads of state to renew diplomatic ties with Israel. He said Liberia was ready to undertake efforts to help bring about peace in the Middle East. Later in the day, Doe watched an Israel Defense Force exercise and was hosted by Chief of Start Gen. Moshe Levy.

At a meeting between Doe and Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir agreement was reached for Israel to send a team of eye specialists to Liberia, set up a Liberian shipping line and a chain of supermarkets. It was also announced that Israel was sending a team of agricultural experts to Liberia immediately to survey the country’s farming problems. Doe reportedly also asked Israel to help convince American Jews to invest in Liberia.

Doe’s four-day state visit to Israel, which began yesterday, is the first in 12 years by a Black African leader. In 1971 the leaders of Zaire, Nigeria, Cameroon and Senegal came together in Israel. After the Yom Kippur War in 1973, Black African countries severed their ties with the Jewish State under Arab pressure. Zaine renewed its ties last May. Only Malawi, Lesotho and Swaziland, have maintained formal relations with Israel.

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