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Digital Archive International History Declassified

July 14, 1967

TELEGRAM OF THE ROMANIAN LEGATION IN TEL AVIV TO THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF ROMANIA, REGARDING POSITIONS TAKEN BY FOREIGN DIPLOMATS AND ISRAELI OFFICIALS TOWARD ROMANIA, IN LIGHT OF THE POSITION ADOPTED IN THE MIDDLE EAST CONFLICT

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    The Romanian envoy in Tel Aviv writes of discussions with western European diplomats. They praise Romania’s independent stand in the Middle East crisis and its abstention from the Budapest Summit. He does let the western diplomats know that Romania still remains within the Warsaw Pact. He discusses Israeli policy of not withdrawing from the occupied territories until the State of Israel is recognized by the Arabs. Israel is also pushing France to lift the arms embargo.
    "Telegram of the Romanian Legation in Tel Aviv to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Romania, Regarding Positions Taken by Foreign Diplomats and Israeli officials toward Romania, in light of the Position Adopted in the Middle East Conflict," July 14, 1967, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Archive of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bucharest, Telegrams, Tel Aviv, vol. 1. 1/1967, pp. 286-89, in Ministerful Afacerilor Externe, Directia Arhivelor Diplomatice, Romania-Israel: Documente Diplomatice, vol. 1, 1948-1969 (Bucuresti: Editura SYLVI, 2000), pp. 330-332 https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/113623
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14 July 1967, Tel Aviv, 2:00 PM

No. 85 228
Top Secret. Flash

In diplomatic circles, among Israeli members of government and among journalists, there is much discussion regarding the High Level Summit in Budapest [on 11-12 July 1967], especially the fact that the Romanians did not participate.

During my own discussions with Paulus, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) in Israel, with Francisca Fernandez Ball, the Ambassador of Guatemala, Walter Peinsipp, the Ambassador of Austria, as well as other diplomats which I met at a reception given by the French Ambassador on Bastille Day, 14 July, some questions were raised [by them]:

• Why didn't Romania participate at this Summit?
• Did the participants take any disciplinary actions against Romania (economic or political)?
• Is Romania still part of the Warsaw Pact?

Aside from those questions, there were commendations for the courage displayed by the Romanian Government by maintaining an independent position in the Middle East Crisis.

I explained to all interlocutors the position of our Party and Government, mentioning that the participants at the Budapest Summit do not have reasons to take any disciplinary actions, that there are no political differences between Romania and the Warsaw pact member nations, that Romania considers the Warsaw Pact a viable alternative so long as NATO exists and that [Romania] will take actions to, not only meet the requirements of its Warsaw Pact membership, but also to strengthen its own defensive capability, considering that by doing so it will strengthen the defensive capabilities of all the member states.

As a result of the explanations, the interlocutors considered as just the Romanian position. [Moreover] The Austrian Ambassador said that, though he represents the interests of other nations, he affirms that he is in agreement with the Romanian position.

State Minister [Menachem] Begin, Minister of Transportation Moshe Carmel and the Director of the Bureau of [Relations with] the Occident within the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, all present at this reception, after agreeing with Romania's position in the Arab-Israeli conflict, critiqued France's position, suggesting that France will move closer to the Romanian position and will end up lifting the weapons embargo imposed on Israel, that the discussions headed by Shimon Peres, General Limon and others are about to be finalized, both in favor of Israel and France.

I asked Zeev Shen, Director of the Western Europe Bureau in the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, what is meant by “both in favor of Israel and France.” He answered that France needs to sell weapon [systems] and Israel needs to by that which France needs to sell.

From the discussions with those mentioned above and with journalist such as I. Soken, Director of the Ha'aretz newspaper, Pedatzur, Secretary at the Lamerhov newspaper, Aline, journalist at Information, as well as others, it is apparent that, in regards with the resolution of conflict, Israel maintains its known position.

Without negotiations and without a declaration by the Arab states through which Israel is recognized, the Israeli Army will not retreat out of the occupied territories.

More so, if the Arab countries continue to open fire on Israeli soldiers, Israel will respond, possibly by carrying out armed incursions [into Arab territory] as punishment.

(ss) N. Ionescu