Madrid Denies That Ties Between Spain and Israel Will Be Delayed

The Spanish government has denied a report published recently that Spain has decided to postpone the establishment of formal diplomatic relations with Israel, the World Jewish Congress disclosed.

According to the WJC, Ambassador Manuel Sassot, the Spanish Consul-General in New York, assured WJC executive director Israel Singer during a private meeting last week that there will be no delay of any kind in the establishment of formal ties.

Wire services reports on November 20 said that Jorge Dezcaller, Spain’s Director General of Foreign Policy for the Middle East, told officials in the United Arab Emirates that Spain would postpone the announcement of full ties with Israel until at least October, 1986.

Sassot told Singer that he has been assured by the Foreign Ministry in Madrid that the report is incorrect, and that the commencement of relations would take place, as originally planned, during the current legislative session in Spain. According to Sassot, this means that relations will begin well before October, 1986.

Sassot also told the WJC that officials of the United Arab Emirates apparently released the inaccurate story in order to prepare their countrymen for what the Arab officials view as the inevitability of Spain-Israel ties. Israel has long had diplomatic relations with the members of the European Economic Community (EEC) which Spain is scheduled to join on January 1.

The WJC also said it learned that Spanish security officials have visited their Embassies in the Middle East to make final preparations for the establishment of formal relations between Spain and the Jewish State.

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