JERUSALEM — Israel rejected a Soviet proposal to establish low-level diplomatic relations and insists on an exchange of ambassadors, the Foreign Ministry said today.
In a meeting with Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres last week in New York, Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard A. Shevardnadze offered to set up offices staffed by low-ranking officials in Tel Aviv and Moscow.
"We rejected it. We told the Russians that with them we should have a full level of diplomatic relations and not limit ourselves to interest sections," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Ehud Gol, confirming a report from Washington.
"Interest sections" are diplomatic missions set up under the flag of a third country to conduct routine business and are usually staffed by low-ranking diplomats.
An eight-member Soviet consular delegation, the first official Soviet group to visit in 20 years, has been in Israel since July 12 and is expected to extend its stay for another three months.