An Arab official calls in Moscow

A senior official from the United Arab Emirates, a Gulf shiekhdom with close ties to Saudi Arabia, has paid an unprecedented visit to Moscow for medical care.

Arab diplomats in the Soviet capital, reporting details of the visit, cautioned against overplaying its significance. None of the conservative Gulf mead-liboil states have diplomatic relations with Moscow, and the diplomats say there is no sign of any early change on that score.

But some of the diplomats see the private visit here by Emirates Interior Minister Mubarak Bin Muhammad al-Nahyan as reflecting a slow, piecemeal erosion of the intense suspicion that has long colored the Gulf states' attitude toward the atheistic Soviet state.

The Arab sources say there is no sign the U.A.E. minister, who has had health problems since an auto accident several years ago, met with any Soviet official while in Moscow.

The sources say, however, that he was very warmly received. He is said to have been put up in an official guesthouse and to have been treated by Soviet doctors there rather than at a hospital.

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