JERUSALEM (Apr. 5)
President Anwar Sadat of Egypt said today he would continue efforts for a Middle East settlement and urged Premier Menachem Begin to be “flexible” in negotiations, according to reports received here via Cairo Radio.
He also repeated his call to the United States to become a full partner in the peace process, noting that President Carter had agreed to this concept. Sadat spoke to international news media members and a developing world conference which ended in Cairo today.
Reiterating that he had received no reply from Israel to his peace initiative, Sadat declared “this does not mean that the initiative has lost its importance or its significance.” He said “I shall never let down the hopes of hundreds of millions of my people,” adding, “I shall continue with perseverance until this mission is completed.”
Sadat rejected the idea that he might undertake some fresh initiatives, declaring he had “taken more than my shore.” He rebuffed a questioner who suggested that Begin was an obstacle to peace. “I don’t want to interfere in the domestic problems of others. Mr. Begin should be more flexible.” Sadat said he told this to Defense Minister Ezer Weizman when Weizman visited Cairo last week. He said he had no objection to Weizman’s trip, declaring that Weizman was welcome “whenever there are new ideas.”
He used the term “wise” for the action last Saturday of an estimated 25,000 Israelis who demonstrated in Tel Aviv against Begin’s policies. Sadat warned that if his approach continued to be rejected, violence and hatred would produce more violence, bitterness and bloodshed.