A large Italian insurance company is nearing an agreement to pay at least $65 million to settle war-era policy claims of east European Jews, The New York Times reported Monday.

The agreement with Generali was being negotiated by Holocaust survivors and Jewish charities, according to Sen. Alfonse D'Amato, R-N.Y.A spokesman for Generali, based in Trieste, Italy, confirmed that a settlement was expected later this week, the Times said. Phone calls by The Associated Press to the company's New York branch and to D'Amato's office were not immediately answered Monday.

In settling, Generali would become "the first company to break the code of silence and the wall of denial about some egregious practices that have existed for many years," the Senate Banking Committee chairman told the Times.

Generali and several other European insurance companies face a lawsuit in Manhattan federal court charging them with failing to honor policies of Holocaust victims after the war.

The settlement would affect about one-third of claims by Jews who lived in eastern Europe.