BUDAPEST, Hungary — Hungary established full diplomatic ties with Israel today, becoming the first East Bloc nation to revive relations with Jerusalem in more than 20 years.
Hungary's official news agency MTI announced the move shortly after Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Arens arrived in the capital on an official visit. MTI said an agreement on the reestablishment of diplomatic relations was signed by Arens and Hungarian Foreign Minister Gyula Horn.
In Jerusalem, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir praised Hungary's "courageous and strong" decision as a victory against worldwide "defamation and malignment" of the Jewish state.
All Soviet Bloc nations except Romania cut diplomatic ties to Israel after the 1967 Middle East war, when Israel captured portions of Syria, Jordan and Egypt.