JERUSALEM (Jan. 15)
Premier Shimon Peres said that Israel considers itself as “partners” of the United States in the endeavor “to make freedom a reality” in the world. He spoke in connection with Israel’s huge international debt and its request for substantial increases in U.S. economic and military aid.
Addressing a luncheon meeting of the Foreign Press Association here yesterday, Peres said Israel owed the U.S. $11 billion, of which $10 billion is the principal and interest on previous loans. He stressed however that American aid to Israel was part of its global commitment and for the U.S. was “still the cheapest, lowest and maybe best” investment.
“Imagine the American position in the Middle East without Israel, or imagine the American position in South America with an Israel there,” Peres said, a reference apparently to the massive debts owed by several South American countries.
“We do not think of ourselves as beggars but as partners in the same great exercise of our time — to make freedom a reality,” Peres told the assembled journalists.