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Israel Indicates Embarkation on New Policy Toward Arabs and Russia

February 16, 1966
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The embarkation of the Israel Government on a policy of improving the atmosphere in relations with the Arab countries and the Soviet Union was indicated in government circles here today. The renewed efforts have been suggested by the new Foreign Minister, Abba Eban.

Among the changes contemplated by the Israel Government is to switch in the United Nations from its usually anti-Arab vote to abstention, or even to vote favorably on issues which do not involve the Arab-Israel dispute. While Israel will continue firmly to oppose military aid to the Arab lands, it may favor assistance aimed at improving the economic situation of these countries and the standard of living of their populations. Arab development projects would be supported by Israel diplomatically and at international forums.

As for relations with the Soviet Union, Prime Minister Levi Eshkol indicated as soon as he formed his new Government that he would try to improve them. So far, his stand vis-a-vis the USSR has brought no tangible results. But the Government seems to be considering such efforts as worth-while as “a long-term investment. ” It is understood that France encourages such an attitude by Israel toward the Soviet Union.

Meanwhile, it was reported today that 30 Israel Manufacturers will participate in the forthcoming International Agricultural Fair in Moscow. The Israeli Pavilion at the Fair will display farm machinery, irrigation equipment and hatchery devices.

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