JERUSALEM (Jan. 5)
Prof. Shlomo Avineri, Director General of the Foreign Ministry left today for Rumania on an official visit. Officials said he would be discussing Mideast developments with his host, Deputy Foreign Minister Karol Cornel Pacoste who visited Israel some months ago.
Bucharest recently entertained PLO chief Yasir Arafat and the Syrian Foreign Minister on official visits. Observers here detect a seasonal upswing in Rumania’s Mideast involvement. For several years Rumania under President Nicolae Ceausescu has periodically delved into Mideast affairs. It is the only Comintern country to have maintained diplomatic ties with Israel after the Soviet break off in 1967 and is believed to indulge in Mideast diplomacy as a means of asserting its preciously guarded independence from Moscow in international affairs.
Israel, for its part, has usually cooperated in the various Rumanian sallies into Mideastern affairs since it is in Jerusalem’s interests to show it can maintain warm relations with foreign countries despite political differences. Rumania has consistently advocated the establishment of a Palestinian state on the West Bank, which Israel totally opposes.