East European States Are Friendly to Israel, Official Reports After Balkan Tour
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East European States Are Friendly to Israel, Official Reports After Balkan Tour

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Dr. Shmuel Eliashiv, director of the East European division of the Israel Foreign Ministry who completed an extensive tour of the Balkan and Soviet capitals recently, told a press conference today that he found “a friendly spirit and favorable interest for Israel’s affairs” in most of the East European capitals which he visited. He also said that “considerable enthusiasm still prevails in those areas over Israel’s freedom and independence.”

Dr. Eliashiv emphasized that there was no special assignment attached to his tour which, he added, was prompted chiefly by the necessity for “studying locally Israel relations with countries where we are diplomatically represented.” He stated that he “seized the opportunity” afforded him by his visits to discuss with various European authorities problems concerning the Jewish state.

The Israel official pointed out that mass migration of Jews from Bulgaria and Yugoslavia to Israel was at an end since most members of the Jewish community of those two countries had already left for the Jewish state. He disclosed that between 6,000 and 9,000 Jews still remain in Bulgaria while approximately 4,000 Jews still live in Yugoslavia. Dr. Eliashiv stated that although the immigration picture in Rumania was unchanged, there was hope for improvement in the situation in Hungary.

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