JERUSALEM (Feb. 28)
Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan blamed Egypt last night for the current impasse in peace talks with Israel and said his country preferred direct negotiations and practical discussions of mutual proposals with the Egyptians to the present contacts through an American intermediary.
Addressing the 29th World Zionist Congress, Dayan claimed there are no direct negotiations with Egypt now because the Egyptians do not want or cannot conduct such negotiations without the participation of Jordan and other Arab countries. He also accused Cairo of toughening its stand and backing away from original positions.
He said the current negotiations through American mediation was contrary to the understanding reached by Premier Menachem Begin and President Anwar Sadat at their Christmas Day meeting in Ismailia last year. According to Dayan, the Egyptians promised then to present counter-proposals to Israel’s peace plan for Sinai and the West Bank, but so far they have not done so.
“It is hard to tell whether the Egyptians believed at the beginning of negotiations that they would eventually reach a separate agreement with Israel,” Dayan said. At the moment, he told the Congress delegates, negotiations are concentrated on the Palestinian issue and the future of the West Bank and there is no discussion of bilateral matters between the two countries.
Dayan said Israel did not object to President Carter’s Jan. 4 Aswan formula that called for Palestinian Arab participation in determining their own future. “Israel is willing to sit with them and to discuss with them their future,” Dayan said. He claimed, however, that “it is quite obvious that when they speak of their future they mean that they will determine our future.” He said Israel would never allow the Palestinian Arabs to determine the future of its settlements in the occupied Arab territories.