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Digital Archive International History Declassified

August 19, 1969

POLICY MEMORANDUM FROM THE ROMANIAN MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, NO. 05/03901, 'REQUEST OF THE UNITED ARAB REPUBLIC GOVERNMENT THAT ROMANIA STOPS USING THE OIL PIPELINE EILAT-MEDITERRANEAN SEA TO TRANSPORT CRUDE IMPORTED FROM IRAN'

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    Romanian Deputy Foreign Minister, Petru Burlacu met with the charge d'affaires of the United Arab Republic in Bucharest, Fikry Mehanny Nakhla. Nakhla told Burlacu that he had discovered that the Romanians used the Eilat-Mediterranean Sea pipeline to transport oil from Iran which went through Egypt, and asked that this stop. Romanian government decided to leave this request unanswered. Topics of memorandum also included bilateral relations between Romania and Iran.
    "Policy Memorandum from the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, No. 05/03901, 'Request of the United Arab Republic Government that Romania Stops Using the Oil Pipeline Eilat-Mediterranean Sea to Transport Crude Imported from Iran'," August 19, 1969, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, ANIC, CC RCP, Chancellery. Contributed and translated by Roham Alvandi and Eliza Gheorghe, and included in CWIHP Working Paper, "The Shah's Petro-Diplomacy with Ceaușescu" (2014). https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/119605
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[…]

Policy Memorandum from the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, No. 05/03901, August 19, 1969, Secret

Subject: the request of the United Arab Republic government that Romania stops using the oil pipeline Eilat-Mediterranean Sea to transport crude imported from Iran

During a recent meeting between the Romanian Deputy Foreign Minister, Petru Burlacu, and the chargé d’affaires of the United Arab Republic in Bucharest, Fikry Mehanny Nakhla, the [Egyptian] diplomat pointed out that he had discovered that Romania uses the Eilat -Mediterranean Sea pipeline to transport the crude imported from Iran, a pipeline which crosses through the Egyptian territory occupied by Israel.

Underscoring that he did not wish to encroach on Romania’s sovereignty, since this issue is the sole responsibility of the Romanian state, the Egyptian diplomat asked the Romanian government to stop using the pipeline in question. Subsequently, he added that this request is made to a friendly, socialist country, a request which Egypt could not make to the US, France, the Federal Republic of Germany, etc.

Regarding the issue raised by the UAR chargé d’affaires, we would like to point out that our country imports crude from Iran from the Hart Island (in the Persian Gulf) and transports it on foreign tankers to the Eilat harbor (in the Gulf of Aqaba) and then from here the crude is pumped through the existing pipeline to Haifa. From this port, the crude is transported to Constanța .

Concerning the afore-mentioned issues, we propose that the request of the UAR government be left unanswered.

In case the UAR embassy raises this issue again, [please] reply that the choice of infrastructure for the goods Romania imports is a matter based solely on an economic efficiency rationale and it is decided upon by the relevant Romanian authorities.

15 August 1969 Signed by George Macovescu

Approved by the Foreign Relations Section of the Central Committee of the Romanian Communist Party