Rumanian Leader Reported Planning a New Middle East Initiative

President Nicolae Ceausescu is planning a new Middle East peace initiative involving a meeting between himself and Premier Menachem Begin of Israel and President An-war Sadat of Egypt to try to unlock the freeze in the Mideast peace negotiations. Such an initiative was reported from Warsaw today by Arye Zimuki, Yediot Achronot’s political correspondent.

Zimuki based his report on a conversation with Rumania’s Chief Rabbi, Dr. Moses Rosen, who is in Warsaw attending an international convention on the Hebrew language, the first such convention held in an Eastern European country. However, political circles in Jerusalem said today that they are not aware of a new Mideast initiative by Ceausescu.

Zimuki reported that Ceausescu may also try to meet with other Mideast leaders as port of his initiative. Recently he met with Palestine Liberation Organization chief Yasir Arafat and Egyptian Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Butros Ghali was expected in Bucharest today with a personal message from Sadat to Ceausescu explaining Egypt’s position in the current autonomy talks deadlock.

According to Zimuki, Roser told him that the initiative was specifically mentioned in a meeting last week the Rumanian President had with him and Rabbi Arthur Schneier, spiritual leader of the Park East Synagogue in New York City and president of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation.

A Jewish Telegraphic Agency report from Bucharest last week said the meeting, which took place at Ceausescu’s summer home in Neptune on the Black Sea, dealt with various international problems, specifically with the situation in the Mideast. It was also reported then that the talks included plans Ceausescu said he had for a Mideast initiative and which would require the support of world Jewish organizations in order to succeed.

Political circles in Jerusalem said today that the Rumanian President in the past did raise the possibility of exerting his influence to keep the peace talks going but always emphasized that he would not act contrary to the Camp David peace agreements.

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