Official Says Soviets Have No Plans to Restore Relations with Israel Soon

A top Soviet official said Wednesday that while it is “abnormal” that full diplomatic relations do not exist between his country and Israel, he does not foresee restoration of such ties until Israel moves closer to a solution for its conflict with the Palestinians.

Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Petrovsky, here for the 44th U.N. General Assembly, said at a news conference that “as soon as Israel will be involved in a collective approach” for solving the Middle East conflict, the Soviet Union will consider restoring relations.

He made it clear that by “collective approach,” he was referring to an international peace conference.

As for the recent signs of movement toward peace involving Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Israeli Labor Party leaders, Petrovsky said the Soviet Union “welcomes all efforts at a Middle East solution.”

But he reiterated his stand that the ultimate solution would have to include an international conference.

An international conference is the method for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict favored by the Arab states and the Palestine Liberation Organization. But Israel’s governing Likud bloc is adamantly opposed to the idea.

Petrovsky also said that Hungary’s restoration of full diplomatic relations with Israel on Monday should not been seen as a signal of Soviet intentions. “Each country makes decisions taking into accord its political environment,” he said.

Hungary was the first of the East bloc countries that severed relations with Israel during the 1967 war to restore ties.

In remarks that would seem to favor Israel, Petrovsky called for a “depoliticization” of U.N. agencies and urged that they be allowed to pursue their “specific practical” agendas.

Recent meetings of United Nations agencies have been sidetracked by diplomatic battles over the PLO’s attempts to gain membership as a de facto state.

NEXT STORY