JERUSALEM (Mar. 17)
A semiofficial organization, the World Federation of Hungarians, has offered to act as intermediary between Hungary and Israel in the absence of formal diplomatic relations between the two countries, it was reported here Monday.
According to the report, Janos Rande, secretary general of the Federation who is visiting Israel as guest of the Foreign Ministry, made the offer to Yossi Beilin, Political Director General of the Foreign Ministry.
COMMERCIAL TIES WITH HUNGARY
Hungary, along with the Soviet Union and all other Eastern bloc nations except Rumania, broke diplomatic ties with Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War. But Israel maintains commercial relations with Hungary, more so than with any other Eastern bloc country, and these have expanded in recent years.
The World Federation of Hungarians, with the backing of the Budapest government, seeks to maintain ties with Hungarian emigrants all over the world. There are about 100,000 Jews of Hungarian origin in Israel. The Jewish population of Hungary numbers an estimated 62,000, the largest in Eastern Europe outside the Soviet Union.
Rande, a former Ambassador, will meet with Knesset members during his visit.