TEL AVIV (Jul. 26)
Two officials of the Soviet Republic of Georgia are in Israel on a nine-day tour and are being given almost royal treatment.
The Georgians, Culture Minister Valery Estiani and Foreign Trade Minister Raphael Aligurashvili, were greeted at the airport by Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir and Knesset member Efraim Gur, a native Georgian who initiated the visit.
During their lengthy visit, the Georgians are to hold talks with government officials and will tour museums, universities and factories.
Observers say the Georgian officials may not have had to ask for Moscow’s permission to make the trip.
But it is believed certain that they arrived with the full knowledge and consent of the central Soviet authorities.
Their visit comes on the heels of a report from an Israeli correspondent in Moscow that a Middle East adviser to Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze will visit Israel soon.