Israel and Poland to Upgrade Diplomatic Representation

Israel and Poland have agreed to upgrade their diplomatic missions in Tel Aviv and Warsaw and to turn them into independent missions. The two missions are presently operating under the diplomatic sponsorship of the Netherlands.

The agreement was reached in a meeting Thursday night between Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and his Polish counterpart, Tadeusz Olechowski.

The 45-minute meeting, held at the United Nations Plaza Hotel, was Peres’ last diplomatic meeting here before departing for Israel late Thursday night.

According to an aide to Peres, it was agreed that the new level of official ties between Israel and Poland will be defined in talks to be held soon by diplomats of both countries.

In addition, Peres and Olechowski also acknowledged that a high-level economic delegation from Poland will visit Israel in the near future, to discuss increased economic cooperation between the two countries.

Israeli diplomats said that the warming in relations between Israel and Poland could be seen as part of a general trend of improved relations between the Jewish state and the East European countries.

All of the Soviet bloc countries, except Romania, severed diplomatic ties with Israel following the 1967 Six-Day War.

EXCHANGES WITH EGYPT

As part of that apparent thaw in relations, sources here disclosed that Abba Eban, the veteran Israeli statesman and Knesset member, will leave next month as the foreign minister’s emissary for talks in Bulgaria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia.

Eban, according to the sources, will explain Israel’s position in the Middle East and stress its desire for improved relations with these countries, on diplomatic, economic and cultural levels.

In his meeting Thursday afternoon with Egypt’s Foreign Minister Esmat Abdel Meguid, Peres invited a delegation of Egyptian scientists to take part next month in a major scientific conference in Sde Boker.

Meguid invited Israel to participate in the Cairo commercial fair next March.

Speaking with reporters after the meeting, Meguid said the Egyptian high court in Cairo will rule in October on the issue of compensation to the families of the Israelis murdered two years ago by an Egyptian soldier in Ras Burka in the Sinai.

Both foreign ministers said that they discussed the Middle East peace process, expressing the hope that “some movement” will take place in the near future.

Meguid also said that he promised Peres that Egypt will step up its efforts to try to locate Israeli soldiers who have been missing in action since the Yom Kippur War.

Israeli officials could not say how many Israelis MIAs there are.

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