JERUSALEM (May. 4)
The bilateral relations between Rumania and Israel were stressed repeatedly in Bucharest by Rumanian leaders and by Premier Golda Meir of Israel both before and after Mrs. Meir’s meeting this afternoon with Premier Ion Georghe Maurer. Middle Eastern problems were very much in the background, and it was not known in what way they were discussed. If at all. It was thought that the Mideast may have been left for Mrs. Meir’s visit tomorrow with President Nicolae Ceausescu.
Emerging from her 90-minute meeting with Maurer, Mrs. Meir said their talks on bilateral matters were conducted cordially and in very good spirits. Her comments were recorded by Israel’s radio broadcast service. Earlier, at a ceremonial reception in Maurer’s office attended by the press, the Rumanian Premier set the tone by emphasizing the bilateral aspects.
Maurer, speaking in Rumanian, and Mrs. Meir, speaking in English, both used translators. He opened by expressing hope that their talks would be fruitful, considering the many problems in connection with Rumanian-Israeli relations. The Israeli leader responded by saying she was glad such relations existed and that there were possibilities for extending them. Maurer said that was the result he sought. This theme was mentioned by them several more times in different words.
At the meeting of the two Premiers, Maurer was accompanied by Foreign Minister Corneliu Manescu and the two Deputy Foreign Ministers. The Israeli side consisted of Mrs. Meir’s entourage–political advisor Simcha Dinitz, military aide Brig. Israel Lior, European specialist Yochanan Cohen and personal secretary Miss Lou Kaddar–and Ambassador Raphael Ben-Shalom.
WELCOMED IN NAME OF RUMANIAN PEOPLE
Arriving in Bucharest about noon local time, Mrs. Meir was given the red-carpet treatment. Maurer and Manescu were on hand to welcome the first Israeli Premier to visit a Communist bloc country. A guard of honor–dressed in the national colors of blue, yellow and red–presented arms, and the Rumanian Army Orchestra played the two national anthems–”Hatikvah” (“The Hope”) and “We Glorify Thee, Rumania.” In accordance with Eastern European custom, the guard of honor then shouted in unison: “Long Live Her Excellency!”
The streets of Bucharest were bedecked with blue-and-white Israeli flags and the Rumanian colors. Rumania’s two official newspapers published front-page reports of Mrs. Meir’s visit and long biographies covering her career before becoming Premier. One of the government organs welcomed Premier Meir in the name of the Rumanian people. The paper said she was invited to Rumania as part of that country’s belief in coexistence between states which have different social systems.
Maurer offered a few words of welcome at the airport, but the main part of the ceremony was devoted to self-introduction of each high-ranking official and Army officer, after which the Israelis introduced themselves and all shook hands. As Mrs. Meir made her way across the red carpet to the airport building, six Rumanian girls in national dress presented flowers to her and her entourage. The Premier kissed the girl she received flowers from, whereupon Maurer set a tone of friendliness and intimacy by insisting on flowers and a kiss from the girl for himself.