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Israel Embassy, Brazilian Foreign Ministry Described As ‘tense’

Relations between the Israeli Embassy in Brasilia and the Brazilian Foreign Ministry are being described as “tense” over the Ministry’s accusation that Israeli diplomats here are interfering in Brazil’s internal affairs.

Israeli Ambassador Moshe Erell was summoned to the Ministry to explain what it considered anti-Arab League and anti-Palestine Liberation Organization press releases by the Israeli Consulate in See Paulo. Erell was later summoned to the Ministry again because it labeled as “inopportune” Erell’s press release denying that the Israeli actions constituted interference. “If a country embraces an international organization which uses violence as its official policy against another country, is it an internal or international affair?” Erell said.

Meanwhile, a delegation representing the Jewish community met with President Joao Baptista de Figueiredo to present him with a petition asking that the PLO not be allowed to open an office in Brazil. “We are worried over the possible opening of a terrorist representation in Brazil,” the petition said. The delegation was headed by Dr. Jose Reiches, the new president of the Brazilian Jewish Confederation.

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