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>PD Dec. 22, 1994, V2, #230
Weizman-Mubarak Meeting Concludes
By Laurie Kassman (Cairo)
Israeli President Ezer Weizman has returned to Israel after his
first official visit to Egypt with the intent of warming relations
with a country officially at peace with the Jewish state since
In a joint departure statement, President Hosni Mubarak and Weizman
urged an all-out effort for comprehensive peace in the region. The
statement refers to the current talks as a golden opportunity that
should not be missed.
The Syrian track of the peace talks has been stalled over the
timing and extent of an Israeli pullout from the Golan Heights.
After his return to Israel, Weizman told reporters he was ready to
go to Syria if would help.
Mubarak and the Israeli leader described the 1979 Egyptian-Israeli
treaty as a shining example for others.
But 15 years of official peace still have not produced full
normal relations. Weizman's trip was partly aimed at encouraging
closer trade and cultural ties. But he did not win a hoped-for
commitment from the Egyptian President to pay his first official
visit to Israel.
Ha'aretz reported that Mubarak decided to postpone visiting Israel
because he feels that a visit would further isolate Syrian
President Hafez el-Assad. Mubarak told the newspaper that a visit
to Israel might delay the Israeli-Syrian peace talks. The Egyptian
president emphasized that this was the only reason for postponing
his visit, adding that there has been meaningful improvement in
Israeli-Egyptian relations. Mubarak also told the newspaper that he
is very concerned about the spread of Islamic fundamentalism and
An IDF delegation will travel to Egypt in 10 days in order to
search for the remains of 19 Israeli soldiers missing since the
1973 Yom Kippur war. The delegation's visit reportedly came as a
result of Weizman's trip.
Peres: Israel Committed to Palestinian Peace
By Susan Sappir (Jerusalem)
Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres says, after meeting with PLO
leader Yasir Arafat in Gaza City, that Israel is committed to the
Israeli-Palestinian peace accord.
PLO officials say they are reassured that Israel intends to
implement the next phase of the peace accord--a withdrawal of
Israeli troops from parts of the West Bank.
Under the 1993 peace agreement, the pullout, followed by
Palestinian elections, should have been completed by last July.
But after a series of attacks on Israelis, Israel has demanded that
the Palestinians take measures to assure safety of Israelis first.
The protracted delay has led Palestinians to doubt whether the West
Bank withdrawal would proceed.
Arafat assured Peres that the Israeli concern over security would
be taken into consideration. Peres, for his part, confirmed
Israel's commitment to carrying out the peace agreement without
The Palestinians are eager for the pullout to succeed so they can
hold elections, unhampered by Israeli troops in West Bank areas
under Palestinian authority. Negotiations on the troop
redeployment will resume in Cairo next month.
Israel and Syria Agree on Formula for Talks in Washington
IDF Major General Danny Yatom will reportedly be Israel's
initial military representative to the informal Israeli-Syrian
peace talks in Washington.
Government sources in Jerusalem said retiring IDF Chief of Staff
Lt. General Ehud Barak may participate in the talks at a later
stage. The sources added that Israeli and Syrian military officers
will not hold direct discussions, but will instead meet separately
with a panel consisting of Israel's Ambassador to the U.S. Itamar
Rabinovich, Syrian Ambassador to Washington Walid Mualem and U.S.
Special Middle East Coordinator Dennis Ross.
Israel grudgingly agreed to the conditions with the hope that the
talks will eventually develop into a direct framework. A senior
Israeli official in Washington called procedures for the talks
"weird." Israel views Damascus' refusal to hold direct negotiations
as a sign that Syria has not reached a decision to accelerate the
Christopher meets with American Jewish leaders at White House
U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher met with leaders
of the American Jewish community Wednesday at the White House to
discuss the possibility of an Israeli withdrawal on the Golan
The meeting is part of an effort by the Clinton Administration to
calm fears among American Jews about a future compromise on the
The U.S. State Department's new directory now lists the U.S.
consulate in Jerusalem under the heading of the U.S. Embassy in Tel
Aviv, and within the section of the directory for Israel. A
notation next to the entry states that the status of Jerusalem is
yet to be determined. The alteration in the directory reportedly
came at the urging of Senator Alfonse D'Amato (R-NY) who, along
with moderate Republicans, is trying to pass legislation to move
America's Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
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