JERUSALEM (Aug. 18)
Zev Levin, Israel Consul-General in Cyprus, today was appointed Ambassador to that new Republic which achieved its independence this week. The appointment was announced officially this morning by the Foreign Ministry, which added that Mr. Levin will present his new letters of credence as full Ambassador to Cyprus President Makarios in the next few days.
The announcement indicated at least partial failure of the United Arab Republic’s frantic efforts, pressed in recent weeks, to undermine the long-standing and excellent relations that have existed between Israel and the Cypriote people. These relations, it was pointed out here, stem from very ancient, biblical times, and were strongly reenforced after the end of World War II.
During the period of “illegal” immigration to Palestine, between the end of the war and the rebirth of Israel as a state in 1948, Cypriotes were most cooperative with many Jewish leaders and organizations, assisting the immigrants to Palestine who had been detained at Cyprus by the British.
Since 1948, Israel has established firm economic relations with the people on the island and with its leaders. Solel Boneh, the construction firm owned by Histadrut, the Israel Federation of Labor, has an affiliate company at Cyprus, and another affiliate is there as a representative of the Shoham-Zim shipping line of Haifa. Many Israelis own orchards on Cyprus. Israelis compose the largest tourist groups visiting Cyprus annually.
The Cairo Government has been pressing Cyprus to ignore Israel, playing on the allegations that Egypt had helped the Cypriotes in their struggle for independence and upon the fact that about 13,000 Cypriotes live in Egypt.
It is not yet certain whether Cyprus will open an Embassy in Israel. The leaders of the new government at Nicosia had planned originally to establish full Embassies in only four capitals –Athens, Ankara, London and Washington–relegating all their other legations to consular status. It is hoped now, however, that if Cyprus does establish an Embassy at Cairo, it will later tighten diplomatic relations with Israel also.
Mrs. Golda Meir, Israel’s Foreign Minister, sent a cable yesterday to Archbishop Makarios, extending Israel’s official recognition of the new republic and expressing the hope that friendly relations would be established between the governments of Jerusalem and Nicosia.