JERUSALEM (Sep. 11)
Israeli and Rumanian officials were engaged here today in drafting a joint communique to be issued tomorrow marking the end of Rumanian Foreign Minister Gheorghe Macovescu’s visit. If remarks made by Macovescu and his host. Foreign Minister Yigal Allon at a dinner for the Rumanian diplomat here last night are any indication, the communique will note the differences between the two countries in their approach to the Middle East problem while reaffirming their friendly relations.
Macovescu stressed last night that there could be no peace in the Middle East without a solution of the Palestinian problem. Allon stated that the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) “whose agents murder children and women” could not be regarded as a freedom movement.
Macovescu replied, “Israel’s continued presence in the territories taken in 1967 does not help progress toward peace.” Allon reported that peace efforts would be jeopardized by recognition of the PLO. At their talks here yesterday. Allon reportedly expressed Israel’s strong dissatisfaction over Rumania’s support for the PLO. Premier Yitzhak Rabin is understood to have made the same point most forcefully to Macovescu at their meeting in Jerusalem Monday just before Rabin left for Washington.
Israel’s cordial relations with Rumania survived the Six-Day War when the entire Communist bloc except Rumania severed diplomatic relations with Israel and it survived the Yom Kippur War. Diplomatic observers expect it to survive the present differences. But there is no denying that Israel is deeply disturbed by Bucharest’s enthusiastic support for the PLO.
Israel was also distressed by the Joint communique issued by President Nicolae Ceausescu of Rumania and Syrian President Hafez Assad in Damascus over the weekend which implied support for Syrian militancy. The communique condemned Israel’s bombing of refugee camps harboring terrorists in Lebanon but made no mention of terrorist raids on Israeli civilian centers.