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High Israel Official Leaves for Moscow Today; Will Survey Embassy

Arieh Eshel, head of the East European Department of the Israel Foreign Ministry will leave for the Soviet Union tomorrow for a visit to Moscow which, the Ministry said, was not connected with the Eliahu Chazan affair. Ministry sources said Mr. Eshel’s trip was arranged weeks before Mr. Chazan was kidnapped and questioned by Soviet secret agents.

The chief purpose of Mr. Eshells visit, according to Ministry sources, is to make an on-the-spot survey of the situation at the Israel Embassy in Moscow. He may visit other East European embassies on his trip home. No appointment has been made for him with any Soviet officials and he will be in the Russian capital at a time when neither the Israel Ambassador nor top Soviet Foreign Ministry officials are there.

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church in Jerusalem, Archimandrite Phimon has been recalled to Moscow and is leaving this week, it was announced today. It is not clear whether the prelate’s recall is a routine matter or has political overtones.

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