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Rumania Believes Egypt Wants a Political Settlement with Israel

Rumania, which maintains friendly relations with both Israel and the Arab states, believes that Egypt wants a political settlement of its dispute with Israel, though no one in the Israeli government shares that view. That was the gist of the report Foreign Minister Abba Eban submitted today to the Cabinet following a visit by the Rumanian Deputy Foreign Minister, Giorghiu Macovescu, who conferred last Friday with Eban and met for 30 minutes with Premier Golda Meir.

Macovescu’s visit took place two weeks after President Nicolas Ceausescu of Rumania conferred with Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and with Palestinian terrorist leaders in Cairo.

Eban reportedly said that Rumania gives credence to frequent statements by Sadat that Egypt seeks a political settlement. He was reported to have told Macovescu that Israel would welcome progress toward any kind of settlement and that, realistically, a partial agreement to reopen the Suez Canal has more chance at the moment than an overall settlement. Macovescu left Israel yesterday.

According to unconfirmed reports, one subject he discussed with Mrs. Meir at a meeting at which no aides or other persons were present, was the possibility of Rumania assuming a mediating role between Israel and Egypt for an interim Suez agreement. Such an agreement has long been promoted by the US without results.

Diplomatic circles here expressed satisfaction that Rumania’s position on the Middle East has not changed since the Six-Day War when Rumania alone of the East European Communist nations refused to break diplomatic relations with Israel.

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