JERUSALEM (Apr. 27)
President Nicolae Ceausescu of Rumania has invited Premier Menachem Begin to visit Bucharest. But Begin reportedly is insisting that Ceausescu come to Israel first, to return the visit he made to Bucharest in August, 1977.
The invitation was delivered to Begin by a personal emissary of the Rumanian President last week. The timing is significant in light of reports that Ceausescu is interested in mediating between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization. Rumania was involved in the behind-the-scenes activity which preceded the late Egyptian President Anwar Sadat’s visit to Jerusalem in November, 1977.
Begin’s first visit to Rumania six years ago followed his first official trip to Washington as Israel’s newly elected Premier. It turned out to have been part of the preliminary negotiations that brought about Sadat’s historic move. Begin, at the time, extended an invitation to Ceausescu to come to Jerusalem but the Rumanian leader has yet to do so.
Nevertheless, he has maintained regular contact with Begin through personal emissaries who visit Jerusalem periodically, in secret. The emissary who was here last week reportedly assured Begin that Rumania would not apply its new education tax to Rumanian Jews immigrating to Israel.