TEL AVIV (Jan. 31)
The Israeli delegation, headed by Defense Minister Ezer Weizman, arrived in Cairo today for resumption of the joint Israeli-Egyptian military committee talks at 6 p.m. local time this evening. Weizman and his party were greeted warmly at the airport by the men they will be facing across the negotiating table–Minister of War Gen. Mohammed Gamassy and Gen. Taha Maghdoub, secretary of the Egyptian Defense Council.
Speaking to reporters at the airport, Weizman declined to discuss the substance of the renewed negotiations. He said simply, “We have come back to continue what we have started–to work for a peace settlement.” He warned that the road to peace will not be easy and hoped both sides would make efforts to reach their mutual goal. Weizman, who was accompanied by his wife, Reuma, and his son, Shaul, as guests of Gamassy, said he felt he was among friends.
ELEMENTS OF SECOND ROUND
Israel is not believed to have returned to Cairo with any new principles. It was learned, however, that the second round of military talks will concentrate on subjects on which some progress toward agreement had been made at the initial sessions earlier this month, leaving the most difficult matters to the final stages. The questions of buffer zones, demilitarization of Sinai and limited forces regions fall into the first category. The issue of Israeli settlements in northern Sinai pose a more serious obstacle and will be deferred for the time being. Weizman evaded questions on that subject when he arrived in Cairo today.
The Israeli defense chief will be seconded at the talks by Gen. Avraham Tamir, chief of planning at General Headquarters, Gen. Shlomo Gazit, chief of intelligence and Moshe Sassoun, representing the Foreign Ministry. He is expected to return to Israel in 2-3 days.
The joint military talks were launched on Jan. 12 but were suspended on Jan. 18 when President Anwar Sadat suddenly recalled the Egyptian delegation from the political committee talks in Jerusalem. The Cabinet decided last Sunday that the talks could be resumed in view of the abatement of anti-Israel attacks in the Egyptian press.