Menu JTA Search

Deny Dayan Will Meet with Arabs While He is in West Germany

Israeli and Egyptian officials here have denied reports that Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan will hold secret talks with high ranking Arab officials during his four-day official visit to West Germany. Dayan, who arrived here yesterday, will be in Germany at the same time as Egypt’s Deputy Premier Mohammed Hafez Ghanem who is attending an exhibition on ancient Egypt.

The Egyptian Ambassador, Mohammed Ibrahim Kaamel, said that rumors that Dayan and Arab officials would meet “are absolutely without foundation.” He specifically ruled out a meeting between Dayan and Ghanem. Speculation that secret talks would take place arose apparently because of Dayan’s mysterious activities during two other trips to Europe earlier this year.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the West German government announced today that Chancellor Helmut Schmidt will visit Israel some time next year. The spokesman made the announcement after a three-hour meeting between Schmidt and Dayan. Schmidt, who is due to visit Egypt next month, told Dayan, who invited him to Israel, that he would be “very happy” to visit Israel soon afterwards.

The Israeli Foreign Minister explained Israel’s stand in the current peace campaign initiated by President Anwar Sadat of Egypt. The West Germans reportedly promised their country’s “full support” in furthering peace and understanding in the area. Dayan also met with Foreign Ministry officials in the absence of Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher who is sick.

ISRAEL READY TO MAKE COMPROMISES

The Israeli diplomat, addressing the Hamburg Senate yesterday, said Israel was ready to make compromises to achieve peace with its Arab neighbors though he reaffirmed that Israel would never sit down at the same negotiating table with the Palestine Liberation Organization. He said, however, “I do believe that there is a compromise acceptable to all of us.” He praised Sadat for his courage in visiting Jerusalem last weekend and said he admired Sadat’s “bold move.” He added that the Egyptian leader “realizes that 30 years of war did not really bring much good for Egypt.” Mayor Hans-Ulrich Klose of Hamburg welcomed Dayan to the city.

Dayan was guest of honor at a dinner here last night, hosted by Economics Minister Otto Graf Lambsdorff who substituted for Genscher. Lambsdorff called on Israel to show “flexibility” toward its Arab neighbors in order to “pave the way to Geneva and to a peace with honor.”

He said, “We know from our talks with Arab politicians that in this respect, Mr. Foreign Minister, one has special expectations from you personally.” He was apparently referring to Dayan’s reputed “flexibility” in contrast to Premier Menachem Begin’s reputed “intransigence.”

Lambsdorff praised Sadat’s “courageous step” in visiting Israel and said the German people watched the visit and subsequent peace moves “with strong inner emotion. “He said that Bonn called for the right of self-determination for all Germans, including East Germany and pressed for that right throughout the world. “This causes us to plead for Israel’s right to exist in recognized and secure borders,” he said. “But it also makes us demand the realization of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, including the right to self determination.”

VISITS BERGEN-BELSEN

Immediately after he arrived in Germany, Dayan visited the former Nazi concentration camp of Bergen-Belsen, near Hanover, where 30,000 Jews died. The Israeli Foreign Minister told reporters afterwards that “Bergen-Belsen is one of the most important places. Everyone should visit it so that nothing similar happens again.”

Dayan, who flew to the site by helicopter, was accompanied by Ernst Albrecht, the Prime Minister of the state of Lower Saxony. The two men also visited the nearby International Memorial where an estimated 5000 to 10,000 dead are buried in mass graves. Dayan laid a wreath of blue and white carnations, representing the national colors of Israel, and recited kaddish. Some 200 members of the Jewish communities of Hanover and other nearby cities attended the ceremony.

NEXT STORY