JERUSALEM (May. 3)
Premier Golda Meir. 74 years old today, leaves tomorrow morning for Rumania and her unprecedented visit to a Communist bloc country. She will fly on an El Al plane that will be diverted to Bucharest and then resume its regular itinerary. Mrs. Meir will see Premier Ion Georghe Maurer at noon tomorrow and President Nicolae Ceausescu on Friday. On Friday night she will attend synagogue services with Chief Rabbi Moses Rosen officiating. A special ezrat nashim (women’s section) has been installed on the lower floor of the Orthodox synagogue for her visit.
(See P. 3 for Special JTA Analysis of Israeli-Rumanian relations.)
Mrs. Meir’s official entourage will include Simcha Dinitz, director general of the Premier’s office; Brig. Israel Lior, her military aide-de-camp; Yochanan Cohen, European specialist at the Foreign Ministry, and Miss Lou Kaddar, the Premier’s personal secretary. A simple farewell ceremony is planned for the departure from Lydda Airport, Tel Aviv.
The purpose of the invitation to Mrs. Meir was as unclear today as it was when announced several weeks ago. Speculation–rife in Bucharest, Belgrade, Paris, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem–ranges from a Rumanian attempt to mediate the Middle East impasse to a Rumanian attempt to demonstrate independence of power alignments and of local conflicts by balancing off Ceausescu’s visit to Arab countries last month. In any case, the Meir trip promises to be cordial–reports from Bucharest tell of extensive preparations for a dinner in her honor tomorrow night hosted by Maurer, to be balanced by a Meir-hosted dinner in his honor featuring Israeli foodstuffs flown to Bucharest for the occasion.
Mrs. Meir’s visit to Rumania has aroused widespread interest in the world news media. Her arrival in Bucharest tomorrow is expected to draw as many journalists and foreign correspondents as covered the visits there of President Nixon and Soviet Premier Aleksei N. Kosygin. About 200 reporters and television cameramen have reportedly arrived in Bucharest so far. Correspondents for Israeli newspapers reported today from Rumania’s capital that the arriving newsmen include correspondents for Egyptian newspapers, the Iraqi news agency and the Yugoslavian press.