JERUSALEM (Aug. 14)
Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir leaves tomorrow for a three-day official visit of Rumania. He is formally the guest of Foreign Minister Stefan Andrej, but is expected to meet also with President Nicolae Ceausescu.
As in previous instances of high-level Israel-Rumania encounters, Shamir’s visit has given rise to speculation that Rumania may be involved, or may be seeking involvement, in a new Middle East initiative. Observers noted that President Hafez Assad of Syria is scheduled to pay a state visit soon to Bucharest.
Over recent months the personal aides of Ceausescu and Premier Menachem Begin have exchanged visits. Begin’s director general, Mattityahu Shmuelevitz, and a Ceausescu aide, Vassily Pungan, have delivered messages between their two chiefs.
In a television interview last night, Shmuelevitz said he expected the Shamir visit to broaden and deepen ties between the two countries in the fields of trade and culture, as well as to provide a forum for top level political exchanges. While in Rumania, Shamir is expected to meet with Chief Rabbi Moses Rosen and other Jewish leaders.