Bucharest's mideast policy has been affected by the changing conditions in Romania's domestic and external environment and has been governed by the Romanian Communist Party's perceptions of the country's political and economic requirements during the three distinct stages of Romanian foreign policy: 1) the period 1945-67, when Romania was a loyal member of the socialist camp, 2) 1967-71, when Romania dramatically asserted its independence and 3) 1971-79, when Romania has restrained its defiant attitude toward the Soviet bloc.
Since the 1960's, Romania has ceased to emulate Soviet foreign policy. Instead, it has developed an independent position within the bloc. In the Middle East, this policy has taken the form of a basic neutrality toward both sides in the Arab-Israeli conflict. The pursuit of this neutrality has been necessitated by the need to ensure Romania's national economic and political interests. Maintaining good relations with Israel, while the other bloc countries severed ties with the Jewish State, Bucharest has enhanced its image at home and abroad acquired sophisticated technology and equipment as well as other forms of economic support, and increased its export markets. At the same time, in developing its relations with the Arab world, Bucharest has been able to expand its export markets for Romanian manufactured goods and to procure needed supplies of oil and other raw materials as well as to obtain a place in the nonaligned movement. In other words, Romania's neutral posture 1) has enabled it to enhance its international image (the by-product of which was the success of Ceausescu's "good offices" in the establishment of the Egyptian-Israeli rapproachement), 2) has helped to consolidate domestic political support and 3) has facilitated the Romanian leadership's efforts to meet the needs of the country's economic development.
Although Romania has started leaning toward the Arab position, since the world energy crisis in 1973-74, it has, nevertheless, been able to successfully preserve its fundamental neutrality in the Arab-Israeli conflict through skillful diplomacy.