JERUSALEM (Apr. 14)
The Soviet Union will have to re-establish full diplomatic relations with Israel and allow Jewish immigrants to fly directly to Israel if it wants to co-host a Middle East peace conference with the United States, Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir asserted Sunday.
Shamir stated those terms at an airport news conference before taking off for London, where he was to meet with Soviet Prime Minister Valentin Pavlov.
Israel has long sought the renewal of diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union, which severed them in 1967. Israel is currently represented in Moscow at the consular level. Its chief activity has been issuing visas to Soviet olim.
The issue of direct flights for immigrants has long been a sore point in Soviet-Israeli relations.
After months of delay, the two countries began direct commercial flights earlier this year, but those making aliyah are barred from using them. Instead, emigres must travel via various Eastern European capitals.
Shamir is going to London for the opening of an international investment bank for Eastern Europe, hosted by the British prime minister, John Major.
He also will be meeting with the leaders of Czechoslovakia, Romania, Bulgaria, Albania and the Netherlands.
The meeting with the Albanian leader comes after the disclosure last week that virtually the entire Jewish community of Albania had been allowed to immigrate over the last three months to Israel.
Shamir is said to hope that the talks will pave the way to diplomatic relations between the two countries.