E.c. Doesn’t Link Help for Israel with Welfare of the Palestinians
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E.c. Doesn’t Link Help for Israel with Welfare of the Palestinians

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Israeli leaders seemed pleased by their talks with a European Community official who came here to discuss both economic cooperation with Israel and the welfare of Palestinians in the administered territories.

They were satisfied that Abel Matutes, the European Commissioner for Mediterranean affairs, made no reference to linkage between the two issues at his meetings here Wednesday with Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, Foreign Minister David Levy and Finance Minister Yitzhak Moda’i.

Only last month, the chairman of the E.C. Council of Ministers at the time, Foreign Minister Jacques Poos of Luxembourg, conditioned privileges for Israel on resolution of the Palestinian issue and a European role in a Middle East peace conference. Poos made that position clear to Levy during a meeting in Paris that took place June 5.

But now, Matutes, who is from Spain, confirmed that the E.C. intends to include Israel in its economic sphere after the 12 member states become a single economic unit in 1992.

He indicated Israel would get the same privileges as members of the European Free Trade Organization, with no political strings attached.

The first practical result of the talks here will be a discussion by a joint team of Israeli and E.C. experts on how to incorporate Israel into the European economy.

Moda’i cautioned, however, that with the best of intentions, it would take several years before the process is completed.

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