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Shamir Asks Soviets to Restore Full Ties, Launch Direct Flights

Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir urged the Soviet Union on Wednesday to restore the full diplomatic relations with Israel that Moscow severed during the Six-Day War of 1967.

“Our relations with the Soviet Union are becoming closer every day,” Shamir said after a speech to scholars from the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank.

“We have to establish normal diplomatic relations, and we don’t see any reason for not establishing them now,” he said.

Shamir indicated a restoration of relations would be the major issue he would raise with Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze when the two met Wednesday evening.

He said he also would discuss the inauguration of direct flights between Moscow and Israel for Soviet Jewish emigrants. The Soviet Union was scheduled to institute such flights last January but has delayed doing so, reportedly because of pressure from Arab governments.

Shamir and Shevardnadze were also scheduled to discuss the Soviet foreign minister’s proposal that the Middle East should be a zone free of nuclear and chemical weapons.

Shamir said Wednesday that Israel has been making such a proposal for the last 10 years and that he himself had proposed it in a 1987 speech to the U.N, General Assembly.

“We are, as always, eager to negotiate with the Arab countries on these issues,” the prime minister said.

Shamir also had lunch Wednesday with Vice President Dan Quayle and had separate meetings with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the House leadership.

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