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Shamir Sees Improved Relations Between West Germany and Israel

February 8, 1983
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Israeli Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir said here today that he hoped West Germany’s assumption of the rotating presidency of the European Economic Community’s Council of Ministers would contribute to improved relations between the EEC and Israel.

Shamir spoke to reporters after his first meeting with West Germany’s Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher. The Israeli diplomat is on the first leg of a European tour which will take him to Luxembourg and Brussels.

He described his talks with Genscher as a “tour de’horizon” that encompassed various world problems, including the Arab-Israeli conflict. Shamir said he was pleased by Bonn’s declared policy of avoiding separate European initiatives in the Middle East.

Asked to comment on Genscher’s recent statement that Bonn expects Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization to move toward mutual recognition of each others rights, Shamir replied that “responsible people in this country know very well our position.”

He expounded on that position in an interview published in Die Welt a day before his arrival in Bonn. Israel will not talk to the PLO nor will it accept an independent Palestinian state on the West Bank, Shamir said. He repeated Israel’s contention that a PLO state would become a Soviet base for attacks on Israel and general subversion in the region.

He also made it clear in the Die Welt interview that Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon’s recent invitation to Soviet leaders to discuss a renewal of diplomatic ties with Israel was not “coordinated” with the Foreign Ministry. Sharon’s overture was flatly rejected by Moscow. Shamir said, however, that it was Israel’s long-standing policy to eventually seek normal relations with the USSR.

Shamir is scheduled to meet with President Karl Carstens of the Federal Republic and Chancellor Helmut Kohl.

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