Belgian's Foreign Minister Pierre Harmel began a three-day official visit to Israel on Tuesday with talks at the Knesset with Mrs.
Belgian's Foreign Minister Pierre Harmel began a three-day official visit to Israel on Tuesday with talks at the Knesset with Mrs. Golda Meir, the Prime Minister, and Foreign Minister Aba Eban.
Mr. Harmel's is the last of a series of official visits to Israel made by Foreign Ministers of the countries on the European Economic Community. They began last year.
The E.E.C. Foreign Ministers are moving together towards the development of a common policy on Arab-Israeli questions, with Belgium being specially concerned with the Arab refugee problem.
Before this visit Mr. Harmel exchanged views with Arab leaders during visits Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and the U.A.R. We refer you to our recent production numbers 6972/71 (Cairo), and 8196/71 (Amman).
SYNOPSIS: Belgian Foreign Minister Pierre Harmel began a three-day official visit to Israel on Tuesday with talks with Israel's Foreign Minister Abba Eban. He told Mr. Eban in Jerusalem that Arab leaders he had talked to in recent visits to Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt were basically interested in a peace settlement, though demanding far-reaching concessions from Israel.
Mr. Harmel's visit to Israel follows similar ones by a number of European Economic Community Foreign Ministers, who are jointly trying to move towards a common policy on several aspects of the Arab-Israel conflict.
Belgium's own contribution to the joint policy is concerned particularly with the Arab refugee problem. It proposes a solution in the spirit of U.N. resolutions.
Like his fellow E.E.C. Ministers, Mr. Harmel found time on his first day in Israel to do some eight-seeing. He and his party spent some time at the El-Aqsa Mosque....
And the Holy Sepulchre shrine, with its golden dome....
On the afternoon trip Mr. Harmel was accompanied by his wife, members of the Belgian Embassy, and representatives of the local Arab community.
The sightseeing over, Mr. Harmel returned to the Knesset office of Prime Minister Mrs. Golda Meir for the first of a series of meetings with her during the visit.
The Belgian attitude in the European Community's continuing Middle East discussions, particularly on Israel's demand for a freely negotiated peace agreement to include secure frontiers - is likely to be the main topic of the talks.