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Technicality Blocks Meeting

October 26, 1990

ST. LOUIS (AP) _ Cold War restrictions have prevented what was billed as a historic meeting between Soviet and Israeli officials Friday.

Despite the thaw in U.S.-Soviet relations, St. Louis is among cities still closed to Soviet officials.

A State Department spokesman, Dave Denny, said Thursday that the restrictions were retaliation for Soviet limits on travel by U.S. officials in the Soviet Union.

Vyacheslav Matuzov, political counselor to the Soviet Embassy in Washington, was to meet Friday morning with his counterpart from the Israeli Embassy, Shimon Stein. The joint appearance was arranged by the American Jewish Committee, whose national executive council is meeting in St. Louis.

The Jewish group said it would have been the first public meeting of Soviet and Israeli officials in the United States.

David Harris, executive vice president of the American Jewish Committee, said Matuzov hadn’t sought permission to visit St. Louis because ″he felt it would prove too complicated to seek an exception to the rule at this time.″

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