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Israel, Hungary Restore Low-Level Diplomatic Ties With AM-Israel, Bjt

March 14, 1988

JERUSALEM (AP) _ Israel and Hungary restored low-level diplomatic ties Monday after a 20 year hiatus but a Hungarian official said full ties await resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

An Israeli interest section office was opened in the Swiss Consulate in Budapest, and a Hungarian interest section was opened in the Swedish Consulate in Tel Aviv.

In Budapest, Foreign Minister Peter Varkonyi received Shlomo Marom, the head of the Israeli office. Swiss Ambassador Paul Wipfli was also present.

Twenty years ago all Soviet bloc countries except Romania severed ties with Israel to protest its occupation of Jordan and Egyptian land in the 1967 Middle East war.

In October, Poland became the first East bloc country to renew low-level ties. The Soviet Union also re-established direct diplomatic contacts with Israel and sent a consular delegation to Israel in July.

Hungarian Foreign Ministry representative Jeno Jyenis told Israel radio that ″the restoration of full diplomatic ties between Israel and Hungary depends on a resolution of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.″

In 1986, trade between the two countries equaled $22 million, according to Israeli figures.

Hungary sells Israel jam and furniture, while Israel exports light bulbs and phosphate to Hungary.

Israeli figures indicate that about 15,000 Israeli tourists visited Hungary last year, while about 2,000 Hungarians visited Israel.

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