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Poland Expels Israel Diplomat; Action Puzzles Israel Government

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A spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed “great surprise” today over the Polish Foreign Ministry’s expulsion of Jacob Barmor, first secretary of the Israel Legation in Warsaw. The Israel diplomat was ordered to leave Poland within 48 hours.

The Polish announcement accused Mr. Barmor of “trying systematically to recruit Polish citizens for activities contrary to the interests of the Polish nation.” Mr. Barmor, who had just completed a four-year tour of duty, had notified the Polish Government of his recall to Israel, prior to the sudden expulsion order.

The Israel spokesman said that Mr. Barmor had taken official leave of Polish officials “in the best possible atmosphere” shortly before the expulsion announcement and that top Polish officials had attended a farewell party for him.

Israel sources said there was no basis for the charges and that they had no idea what motivated the action. They noted that Israel-Polish relations had been developing “in the best spirit,” including trade. They noted that recently relations had reached the point of visits by groups of Polish tourists to Israel.

(In Warsaw, Mr. Barmor said: “I was absolutely amazed. I have no idea at all what is behind this decision. It is most mysterious. Only one week ago I called at the Foreign Ministry to say my formal good-bye to officials there. Everyone was most pleasant.”)

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