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Poland Expected to Announce That It Will Open a Mission in Israel

Foreign Ministry sources said Monday that an announcement is expected from the Polish government that it will open a mission in Israel, but no date has been set for further diplomatic contacts between the two countries.

The sources were responding to a report Sunday by an Israeli television correspondent in Bonn, Yisrael Segal, that Israel and Poland would resume diplomatic relations within a month. According to Segal, steps toward an agreement in principle were discussed between the two countries last week when the Israel Embassy in Bonn hosted a high-level diplomatic delegation from Poland, headed by the Polish Ambassador to West Germany.

Poland broke diplomatic ties with Israel after the 1967 Six-Day War, as did all Soviet-bloc countries except Rumania. Israeli interests in Warsaw are handled through the Dutch Embassy but Poland has had no direct or indirect representation in Israel.

The Ministry sources pointed out that Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir reached an agreement in principle with Poland’s Foreign Minister when they met at the United Nations General Assembly in New York last September. They stressed, however, that the agreement applied to “bureaus of interest” with consular powers, not the resumption of diplomatic relations.

The sources noted further that Poland has moderated its attitude toward Israel in recent months and has sent a number of theatrical and dance groups here. But according to Segal, the high-level diplomatic meeting in Bonn last week was attended by Hannan Bar-On, Deputy Director General of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, who flew there for the purpose.

Segal reported that the Israeli and Polish diplomats discussed “substantive and concrete” steps toward an agreement in principle to restore diplomatic ties.

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