Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban said at a press conference in Jerusalem on Thursday (26 April) that the adverse tide had been stemmed in Israel's relations with African states and that there was now a basis for increasing co-operation.
GV Agron House in Jerusalem
CU ZOOM OUT FROM Abba Eban & Ministers at press conference
SV Journalists at meeting
SV Abba Eban speaking
The text of Mr. Eban's speech is as follows:
MR. EBAN: "Pursuant to the visit of the Foreign Minister of Gabon to Israel, we then discussed the various projects of co-operation which Israel, we then discussed the various projects of co-operation which existed and which could be expanded between our two countries. That came at a very formative period in the evolution of our relations with Africa.
"In addition to these developments with Gabon, there have been many other contacts with African states - all in the same spirit and in the same direction namely, how to consolidate, and even expand, the co-operation between Israel and the African States.
"I therefore say, that since what happened in the month of December, we definitely have the impression of the tide being stemmed. Of course, I cannot give any undertaking that in one or another place there will not be a development that will disappoint us, but the general tendency of the last few months has obviously been one of stemming the adverse tide, and of turning it back. And as I have already said, and perhaps will specify in more detail in the coming weeks, I'll be making some visits to African countries in the month of June of this year."
Initials ESP/0125 ESP/0142
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Background: Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban said at a press conference in Jerusalem on Thursday (26 April) that the adverse tide had been stemmed in Israel's relations with African states and that there was now a basis for increasing co-operation. He mentioned his intention to visit some African countries in June.
On a more pessimistic note, he said there was definite evidence that a number of French Mirage V fighter aircraft were now in Egyptian hands. Proof had been presented to France that these fighters had been transferred from Libya. There is an embargo on French arms exports to Egypt.
Mr. Eban said this development would have an important effect on the balance of power in the Middle-East. He also noted with sadness the murder and kidnapping of Jews in Baghdad, Iraq.
After the press conference, officials announced that Mr. Eban would visit the United States early in May. He will have talks with Secretary of State William Rogers and with Israel's delegation to the United Nations.