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Israelis Visiting Bulgaria; Airline Service Planned

Prominent Israelis will be visiting Bulgaria in the next few weeks, and preliminary discussions are under way aimed at establishing commercial airline service between Israel and Bulgaria, it was reported here Tuesday.

Bulgaria broke diplomatic relations with Israel after the 1967 Six-Day War, as did all Soviet bloc nations except Romania. But lately a thaw has set in.

Representatives of Arkia, Israel’s domestic airline, were joined in Sofia this week by officials of El Al, Israel’s international carrier, and by Shai Shohami, head of Israel’s Civil Aviation Administration.

They are discussing the inauguration of flights with Bulgarian officials. Arkia has recently gone into the overseas charter field.

Meanwhile, Shulamit Shamir, wife of Israeli Premier Yitzhak Shamir, has been invited by the Bulgarian government to attend ceremonies marking the rescue of Bulgarian Jewry during World War II. She is no stranger to Bulgaria, having been born there and visited in recent years.

Commerce and Industry Minister Ariel Sharon will go to Sofia this week to discuss economic and other issues with senior Bulgarian ministers.

Abba Eban, outgoing chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee will also visit Bulgaria soon within the framework of his European information campaign on behalf of Israel.

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