JERUSALEM (May. 12)
Israel and Portugal announced officially tonight the formation of full diplomatic ties between them. The Israel Consulate General in Lisbon will become an Embassy immediately, with Consul General Ephraim Eldar becoming Ambassador. Portugal is expected, according to sources here, to open an Embassy in Tel Aviv in November. The joint communique spoke of the two states “desire to strengthen their friendly relations.”
The process towards normalization began when Socialist Premier Mario Suarez took office last August. Shlomo Avineri, director general of Israel’s Foreign Ministry, then met with Suarez in Lisbon and a course of progression towards normalization through tightening links on technical and political planes was mapped out.