JERUSALEM (Jan. 27)
Israel has formally named Shmuel Hadass, a career diplomat, as its first Ambassador to Spain. The announcement followed yesterday’s Cabinet meeting where the Ministers were informed that Prime Minister Felipe Gonzalez of Spain has already assured Premier Shimon Peres that his government would welcome Hadass’ appointment.
Hadass is no stranger to Madrid. He has been Israel’s representative for the past four years to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which is headquartered in the Spanish capital. As such he was in effect the shadow ambassador of Israel to a country with which it had no diplomatic relations.
Spain and Israel established formal diplomatic ties on January 17. Last Friday the Spanish Cabinet approved the appointment of Spain’s first Ambassador to Israel, Pedro Lopez Aguirrebenoga, who is currently Ambassador to Greece. A Spanish government team is expected in Israel shortly to find suitable premises for their Embassy and an Ambassadorial residence.
GOOD NEWS SHORTLY ABOUT BLACK AFRICAN NATIONS
Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir, meanwhile, predicted last night that there will be “good news” shortly with respect to Israel’s efforts to re-establish diplomatic ties with more Black African nations. Israel already has relations with Liberia and Zaire and last month Ivory Coast agreed to renew diplomatic relations with Israel, though so far it has not implemented that decision.
Shamir, addressing 700 delegates to the 19th world WIZO convention in Tel Aviv, denied speculation that a diplomatic breakthrough with the Soviet Union is imminent. On the contrary, he said, Moscow has informed Arab governments it has no intention of restoring diplomatic relations with Israel, Shamir said. Recent unconfirmed reports from Washington said the Reagan Administration has been urging the Soviets to renew ties with Israel to facilitate convening an international peace conference on the Middle East. Peres has said repeatedly Israel would agree to Soviet participation only if it first re-established diplomatic links with Israel.
Both Israel and the U.S. have opposed the idea of an international peace conference. But apparently both countries are willing to go along provided the international forum serves as the stage setting for direct negotiations between Israel and Jordanian-Palestinian representatives.