JERUSALEM (Aug. 29)
The Sinai agreement signed with Egypt has lived up to expectations, and served the interests of both countries, Foreign Minister Yigal Allon said today. His statement followed the special Cabinet session dedicated to the interim agreement signed a year ago.
The session opened with a report by Allon Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mordechai Gur reviewed the military situation in the Sinai, but no decision was taken regarding the present political situation there. Most of the participants in the discussion agreed that the interim agreement had been a positive move and noted the easing of the situation in the region, the tightening of relations with the United States and Egypt’s efforts for civilian development in the Suez Canal zone.
However, there was some ministerial criticism of Egyptian violations of the accord and the recent warlike statement by President Anwar Sadat.
Following the session Allon said in a radio interview that Israel benefited in the agreement in that it could reorganize its armed forces, and rearrange new defensible lines.
“As a quid pro quo for our territorial concessions we got satisfactory security arrangements as well as American military aid,” he said. He expressed the belief that the interim agreement would eventually lead to further agreements in the region. However, he added, such agreements will have to wait until after the Lebanon crisis,” “which blocks any hope and possibility for any Arab readiness to try and negotiate further steps.”
DISCOUNTS ROLE OF U.S. ELECTIONS
Allon discounted any connections between the American elections and possible new political moves in the area. “Why should America press Israel, when America knows very well that Israel gave up its demand for an overall settlement and satisfied itself with the American idea of a cessation of the state of war? America knows very well that it is because of the Arabs–who did not bother to answer our proposals– that there is no progress in this particular area.”
Continuing, Allon declared: “Any satisfactory agreement will be accepted by Israel with out pressure. Any agreement which will not satisfy Israel will not be accepted, even under pressure. I know we are not a big power, but we comprise 50 percent of the conflict.”
DAYAN CRITICIZES SINAI ACCORD
Over the weekend in an interview on Israel Radio, former Defense Minister Moshe Dayan criticized the Sinai accord saying that Israel gave up land without receiving anything in return. Dayan said Israel failed to get in the accord what it should have, an end of belligerency agreement. He said it could still get this agreement if the United States made it a condition for providing American arms and economic aid to Egypt.
Dayan also said he would have preferred to have symbolic contingents of U.S. and Soviet troops in the United Nations peace-keeping force which supervises the buffer zone under the second Sinai agreement. He contended that the presence of both U.S. and Soviet troops would put teeth in the accord.
In an earlier interview last week, Dayan urged the United States to reduce its military aid to Israel and concentrate on pressing for a formal end to the Arab-Israeli conflict. This reportedly angered Premier Yitzhak Rabin who told a Labor Party meeting that Dayan should not have made the statement or even raised the issue.