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Soviets, Israel to Trade Consular Visits

April 01, 1987|Associated Press

TEL AVIV — The Soviet Union has agreed to send a consular delegation to Israel in the first diplomatic exchange of its kind in almost 20 years, a Foreign Ministry official said today.

Israel radio said that the delegation is expected to arrive within two weeks and that an Israeli delegation later will visit the Soviet Union.

Avraham Tamir, director general of the Foreign Ministry, told Israel army radio that "the delegation is expected" and an Israeli delegation will "certainly" make a trip to the Soviet Union. He would not say when either visit would take place.

The Soviet visit was agreed upon in a meeting in Washington last week between Israel's ambassador to the United States, Meir Rosenne, and Soviet Charge d'Affaires Igor Sokolov, Israel radio said.

The radio's Washington correspondent quoted unidentified officials in Washington as saying the Soviets told them they did not intend to renew diplomatic ties with Israel in the near future.

"These contacts have been a continuous process, and I hope that they will result in the renewal of relations," Rosenne told Israel radio. "That is the interest of the Soviet Union and without a doubt the interest of Israel."

The Soviet Union broke diplomatic ties with Israel after the 1967 Middle East War to protest the Israeli occupation of Arab lands.

Israelis hail accord reports, Page 9.

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