ROME (Apr. 8)
Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres had a 90-minute private meeting with two senior Soviet officials here Tuesday night. An aide to Peres, Israel Gat, said the meeting was “very important” but declined to give details, saying it was premature to talk about results or progress.
The Soviet officials are Karel Bruten and Alexander Zutov, both close aides to Anatoly Dobrynin in the Soviet Communist Party Central Committee’s international affairs department. Bruten has been described as the Soviet Politburo’s top expert on the Middle East.
According to Gat, Peres told the Russian officials that diplomatic relations must be restored between the Soviet Union and Israel to pave the way for an international conference on Middle East peace.
Bruten and Zutov were invited as observers to the conference of the Socialist International which opened here Wednesday. On Tuesday they, along with Peres, attended a close meeting of the International’s Middle Eastern affairs committee which discussed prospects for an international peace conference.
That meeting was also attended by two Palestinian observers, Hanna Seniora, editor of the East Jerusalem Arabic daily Al-Fajr, and Abu Rahme, a lawyer from Gaza.
Peres met with the Soviet officials shortly after arriving here from Madrid following a two-day official visit to Spain.