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Cabinet Issues Communique Announcing That Agreement Was Reached

The government issued a communique today stating that it has approved the agreement reached through the negotiations between the Israeli negotiating team and Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger for an interim pact with Egypt in Sinai. The communique stated that the government would initial the agreement and bring it before the Knesset for approval. According to the communique, the agreement includes an Israeli-Egyptian agreement with an annex and a map and an understanding which concerns the presence of American personnel in the buffer zone.

The communique was broadcast after a Cabinet session today that lasted more than eight hours. The agreement was approved by a vote of 18-0 with one abstention. Police Minister Shlomo Hillel apparently was the only minister who did not vote for the agreement, but abstained instead of voting outright against it. A ceremonial initialing of the agreement by Cabinet members took place at Premier Yitzhak Rabin’s residence this evening in the presence of Kissinger. The Secretary left immediately afterwards for Alexandria where he witnessed a formal initialing of the pact by Egyptian officials tonight.

During the ceremony at Rabin’s residence, Chief of Staff Gen. Mordechai Gur, and General Director of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Avraham Kidron initialed the interim accord for Israel. Kissinger countersigned as a witness.

The government communique said the Premier would decide who will initial the agreement and will decide later, after Knesset approval expected on Wednesday, who will sign the pact for Israel at Geneva. According to some sources the formal signing will take place in Geneva Thursday following the initialing by both sides. The government communique expressed appreciation to President Ford for his efforts and help and to Secretary Kissinger and his team for their efforts in bringing about the agreement.

“WE HAVE MADE IT”

The Cabinet convened late last night after a prolonged final session between Kissinger and the Israeli negotiating team comprising Rabin, Foreign Minister Yigal Allon and Defense Minister Shimon Peres. During that session the final outstanding points of the agreement were settled and the Israeli team decided to recommend that the Cabinet accept the pact.

It was close to 6 a.m. local time today when Kissinger and Allon emerged from the conference room to announce to reporters that “We have made it. The agreement is ready.” Kissinger observed, “I think we have substantially concluded our negotiations.”

ELEMENTS IN THE ACCORD

According to informed sources, the agreement contains four parts; A public Israeli-Egyptian agreement covering new lines in Sinai and political pledges; an appendix containing maps and guidelines for negotiators in Geneva who will work out the exact new troop positions that will follow a further Israeli pullback eastward in Sinai; a document covering the stationing of American civilian technicians in the buffer zone between Israeli and Egyptian troops; and an understanding between the United States and Israel containing 26 paragraphs which will not be made public.

The two sides reportedly agreed that there would be two manned American monitoring stations and four un-manned stations in the buffer zone to detect violations of the cease-fire over the next three years. The agreement will not be effective until Egypt and Israel have negotiated technical protocols to the agreement and the U.S. Congress approves the employment of American civilian technicians to man the monitoring stations. Reportedly they will not number more than 200.

The understanding between Israel and the U.S. will be given to the relevant committees of the House and Senate but will not be announced to the public, an official here said. He said the amount of increased U.S. aid to Israel called for under the agreement has not been determined. Israel reportedly has requested more than $2 billion.

It was also announced that Egypt would not make a public promise to ease the economic boycott against Israel or tone down its political propaganda but would give secret undertakings on those matters.

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