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Israel Announces Exchange Pact with Rumania; First in Eastern Europe

Israeli officials announced today provisional agreement between Israel and Rumania providing for trade and other exchanges, the first such agreement with an East European country. The formal agreement will be signed in April when an Israeli delegation will visit Bucharest.

The provisional pact was disclosed during the departure from Israel of a seven-man Rumanian delegation led by Deputy Trade Minister Easly Routza which was in Israel for ten days. The agreement was negotiated by an Israeli team led by Finance Minister Pinhas Sapir. The agreement provides for exchanges in the fields of economics, science, technology, tourism and trade. The trade phase, it was reported, provides mainly for Israeli imports and chemicals to Rumania. Israel also will export technical know-how to Rumania.

Mr. Routza said at Lydda airport that he was satisfied with the results of the negotiations and he expressed the hope that it would be implemented promptly. The importance Israel attached to the agreement was apparent from the stature of the members of the Israeli delegation which, in addition to the Finance Minister, included the director-general of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the director of the economic division of the Foreign Ministry, and the Comptroller of foreign exchange.

It was indicated that Israel hopes to improve further its relations with Eastern European countries by seeking similar bilateral agreements with other East European states. Observers said the successful talks indicated again the independent status which Rumania seems to have reached within the Eastern bloc.

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