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Lyndon Johnson Administration: Statement Following Discussions with Israeli PM Eshkol

(January 8, 1968)

PRESIDENT JOHNSON invited Prime Minister Eshkol to be his guest at the Texas White House on January 7 and 8, during the Prime Minister's visit to the United States.

The President and the Prime Minister held several meetings during which they discussed recent developments in the Middle East as well as a number of questions of mutual interest in the bilateral relations between their two countries.

The President and the Prime Minister considered the implications of the pace of rearmament in the Middle East and the ways and means of coping with this situation. The President agreed to keep Israel's military defense capability under active and sympathetic examination and review in the light of all relevant factors, including the shipment of military equipment by others to the area.

The President and the Prime Minister restated their dedication to the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East in accordance with the spirit of the Security Council resolution of November 22, 1967. They also noted that the principles set forth by President Johnson on June 19 constituted an equitable basis for such a settlement.

The President and the Prime Minister noted that under that Security Council resolution the Secretary General of the United Nations has designated Ambassador Jarring as his Special Representative. They also noted with satisfaction that Ambassador Jarring is already engaged in discussions with the governments concerned and affirmed their full support of his mission.

The President and the Prime Minister reviewed with satisfaction developments in the relations between the United States and Israel since their last meeting in 1964 and expressed their firm intention to continue the traditionally close, friendly and cooperative ties which link the peoples of Israel and the United States.

Noting the mutual dedication of their governments and people to the value of peace, resistance to aggression wherever it occurs, individual freedom, human dignity and the advancement of man through the elimination of poverty, ignorance, and disease, the President and the Prime Minister declared their firm determination to make every effort to increase the broad area of understanding which already exists between Israel and the United States and agreed that the Prime Minister's visit advanced this objective.

Sources: Public Papers of the President