Menu JTA Search

Weizman Denies Report of Invitation from Moscow, but Says He Would Go

Laborite Minister Ezer Weizman said Thursday that he has received no invitation to visit Moscow, contrary to an Israel Television report to that effect Tuesday night which cited official sources.

The Foreign Ministry also said there was no invitation. Weizman said he would gladly accept one if it came, subject to Cabinet approval.

No member of an Israeli government has visited the Soviet Union since it broke diplomatic relations with Israel 20 years ago, during the Six-Day War.

The television report claimed Weizman was officially invited by the Kremlin and would meet with the highest political echelons there. It said the Soviet leadership appreciated his advocacy of negotiations with the Palestine Liberation Organization. He is almost alone among mainstream Israeli politicians in saying publicly he would negotiate with the PLO if it renounces terrorism and accepts United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 and 338, which require recognition of Israel.

The television report stirred speculation that the Soviets may be seeking a rapprochement with Israel. It was not entirely quashed by the subsequent disclaimer.

Uzi Baram, Secretary General of the Labor Party, has received an official invitation to head a delegation to Moscow.

A Soviet consular delegation is due in Israel in about three weeks, officially to discuss matters relating to Soviet property in Jerusalem and to provide consular services for Soviet nationals here. It will be the first diplomatic group from the USSR to come to Israel in 20 years.

NEXT STORY