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Lyndon Johnson Administration: Letter To Israeli PM Eshkol Expressing U.S.-Israel Friendship

(March 22, 1965)

President Johnson writes back to Prime Minister Eshkol. Johnson appreciates Eshkol's respect for him and values his friendship. Johnson feels this will help with the conflict in the Middle East.

195. Letter From President Johnson to Prime Minister Eshkol/1/

Dear Mr. Prime Minister:

I want to thank you for your thoughtful letter of March 12. I followed very closely your discussions with Governor Harriman and Mr. Komer, and I think your own summary is just right. And I agree with you entirely that our confidence in each other's understanding, goodwill, and friendship is more important than words--though words are important, too.

I also understand fully the responsibility which you carry for the safety of your land and people, and it helps me to have your generous recognition of the responsibilities that fall to me. I believe that in the future, as in the past, it will be possible for our two Governments to meet their responsibilities for peace and security in the Middle East by policies built on trust and respect for each other. In this task we are fortunate in our traditional friendship for each other--a friendship which is clear once more in your generous letter.

Mrs. Johnson joins me in sending our warmest good wishes to Mrs. Eshkol and to you.


Lyndon B. Johnson

/1/Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Special Head of State Correspondence File, Israel, Presidential Correspondence. No classification marking. The letter bears no indication of the drafter. Another copy lists both Johnson and Bundy as drafters, but it is filed with a March 22 memorandum from Bundy to Johnson indicating that it was drafted by Bundy. (Ibid., Memos to the President, McGeorge Bundy, Vol. 9)

Sources: U.S. Department of State