Egypt Admits ‘trap’ Was Set for Israel During Latest Shuttle Effort

The Israeli Embassy is pointing out in a circular to newsmen that Egyptian Foreign Minister Ismail Fahmy has declared Israeli Premier Yitzhak Rabin accurately described Egyptian proposals as “a trap” during Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger’s ill-fated effort to negotiate a second Israeli-Egyptian agreement.

In a background information paper, the Embassy observed that in his address to the foreign ministers of the Arab countries, assembled in Cairo for the Arab League conference on March 24, Fahmy said:

“Rabin was right in describing the Egyptian proposals ‘as a trap’ which involved Israel’s withdrawal for next to no political return…and if it is permissible to say that Egypt (in its proposals) laid a trap for Israel, it was desirable that Rabin should welcome that trap, because its purpose was to achieve justice, honor, respect for international law and the rights of man…It is clear that what was being discussed was neither a partial solution nor a solution by stages. It is also clear that what was being discussed was neither a temporary nor a permanent political settlement. The aim was a military movement or an agreement with a military coloring.”

The Embassy paper noted that from the outset of the recent negotiations, the Egyptian government had no intention of working towards a peaceful solution of the conflict and saw any possible interim agreement with Israel as purely military in character. It pointed to official Egyptian pronouncements made in the course of the negotiations.

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