WASHINGTON (Jul. 17)
An American Congressional group visiting Cairo were told last Wednesday by Egyptian President Anwar Sadat that Egypt would normalize relations with Israel five years after both sides implemented a peace agreement but that Egypt would not implement the accord until the last Israeli soldier left the occupied territories.
Reports reaching here from Cairo also quoted informed sources as saying that two members of the Congressional delegation led by Rep. Lee Hamilton (D-Ind) met with Yasir Arafat, chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, and with three other PLO leaders in Cairo after the legislators had met with Sadat.
The two Congressmen were Lee, who is the chairman of the House International Subcommittee on Europe and the Middle East, and Rep. David Obey (D.-Wis)., a member of the House Appropriations Committee which soon may be considering renewed requests from Egypt for U.S. arms aid. Other members of the Congressional delegation who met with Sadat included Rep. Abner Mikva (D-III) and Rep. Benjamin Rosenthal (D-NY), according to the reports.
Arafat reportedly told the legislators that the Palestinians wanted full American recognition of their rights. They also discussed the American position on the Middle East. The reports said it was not known whether Sadat persuaded the Congressmen to meet Arafat or whether the meeting was at the initiative of the solons.
TIMETABLE FOR ISRAEL’S WITHDRAWL
In talking about Israeli withdrawal, Sadat was reporting as saying: “Ending the state of war will be the first article in any peace agreement we may reach at a Geneva conference. We will only agree to end the state of war, but it will not go into effect until the last Israeli soldier has left…otherwise it will be an official invitation for Israel to continue its occupation of Arab lands.” He said withdrawal might take three or six months, “and not more as the Israelis are dreaming.”
Sadat also urged the U.S. to begin a dialogue with the PLO “which will make things easy for us.” He told the Congressmen that this point was raised when he met with President Carter during his last visit to the U.S.