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Rumania Seeks Mideast Role

A special envoy from Rumania met yesterday with Premier Menachem Begin and delivered a message from President Nicolas Ceausescu that Rumania is willing to act as an intermediary between Israel, Syria and the PLO. The envoy, Vasile Pungun, reportedly a senior official in Rumania’s Communist Party, last week visited Beirut, where he met PLO chief Yasir Arafat, and also visited Baghdad, where he conferred with President Saddam Hussein.

Pungun’s visit to Israel yesterday was his third mission here. Last winter, the envoy, who is very close to Ceausescu, held talks in Jerusalem on bilateral economic issues. According to political sources here, there is no doubt that his visit yesterday took place with the full accord of the Soviet Union.

Several weeks ago Begin sent a message to Ceausescu explaining Israel’s goal in its “Peace for Galilee” operation. Pungun delivered the Rumanian President’s response yesterday which reportedly included a statement that even after the war in Lebanon ends, a way should still be sought to grant the Palestinians a homeland, according to the Camp David agreements. The message reiterated Rumania’s full support for the accords.

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