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U.S. Ambassador to Israel is ‘very Pleased’ with Apology

In an apparent demonstration of reconciliation, United States Ambassador Thomas Pickering today greeted members of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations who arrived here for a four-day meeting.

Pickering said that the Reagan Administration was pleased with Premier Shimon Peres’ statement, issued after the Cabinet meeting today, offering Israeli apologiesover the spy scandal involving Jonathan Pollard, which has cast a cloud in recent days on Israeli-U.S. relations.

Pickering described Peres’ statement as very important and significant, adding, “I am very pleased with it.” He said that U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz immediately expressed his satisfaction and welcomed the statement.

The tension over the espionage scandal was the topic of conversation among the 75 Jewish leaders who arrived for their meeting at the Hilton Hotel here. Most of them expressed the hope that the matter would be settled as soon as possible, and that Israeli-American relations would be restored to their regular course.

Kenneth Bialkin, chairman of the Presidents Conference, condemned the U.S. State Department for allegedly using the media to investigate Israel in the Pollard affair. Bialkin was speaking on arrival in Israel at the head of a delegation of 75 leaders of American Jewish organizations.

(See separate story, P. 4.)

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