JERUSALEM (Jan. 3)
Premier Menachem Begin urged President Anwar Sadat of Egypt not to ask the United States to put pressure on Israel when he meets with President Carter at Aswan tomorrow. “I never asked the U.S. to pressure Egypt, “Begin said in the course of remarks to newsmen after a five-hour Cabinet meeting today.
“With all friendship and respect, we (he and Sadat) are representatives of ancient and free peoples and we should conduct our negotiations as free men, without the need for any external pressure upon anyone, “the Premier said.
The Cabinet met in closed session, sitting as a ministerial defense committee, and no information was gives as to its deliberations. But Begin confined earlier reports that the special session had been called to discuss the special session had been called to discuss the upcoming negotiations with Egypt that will open simultaneously in Jerusalem and Cairo Jan. 15. “For that reason I shall not divulge anything,” he said.
Begin said he was surprised by the remark of King Hussein of Jordan Sunday that he found nothing constructive in Israel’s peace proposals. “Everybody who has studied Israel’s proposal found it to be a serious basis for negotiations,” he said.
ANXIETY OVER MEETING
Israeli officials have expressed some anxiety aver the Carter-Sad at meeting. Observers here expect Washington will seek to persuade Arab moderates and Israel to accept Begin’s plan for self-rule for the West Bank and Gaza Strip A rods as a transitional step only that might lean to a great measure of independence for the West Bonk to have tested that approach at his meetings this week with the Shah of Iran and King Khalid of Saudi Arabia. Sod at, in recent public statements, has indicated that it was acceptable to him.
But there is little enthusiasm here, especially within Begin’s inner circle, for the transitional idea or the link-with-Jordan aspect. Sources close to begin point out that the present Israeli proposals do not cede sovereignty on the West Bank to Jordan best leave that issue open. The fear expressed here is that a West Bank federation with Jordan would inevitably vest sovereignty with that country.
Meanwhile, some Cabinet ministers were reportedly upset by Begin’s proposal that Agriculture Minister Ariel Shoran be appointed deputy to foreign Minister Mache Dayan for the negotiating sessions of the joint Israeli-Egyptian political committee here. No appointment was ratified at today’s Cabinet sessions.
According to informed sources, Deputy Premier Yigael Yadin and Defense Minister Ezer Weizman are coming these opposed to Sharon’s participation in the talks because of his hard the position. But sources close to Dayan said the Foreign Minister “actively favors” the idea. It was apparently suggested by begin as a way of protecting his right-flank from the Gush Emunim and other rejectionist groups.