WASHINGTON (May. 25)
The State Department flatly denied press reports today that the U.S. had found the latest proposals by Egypt for resuming peace talks so unacceptable that it declined to convey them to Israel. The reports attributed that information to Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan.
Department spokesman Tom Reston told reporters today, “We are rather puzzled with the press reports which we have seen on this subject. We have never refused to pass an anything the parties have asked us to pass on.” He added, “We see our role as trying to be a useful middleman in the process. If we start saying what is acceptable and what isn’t acceptable, I think that would really harm our role.”
According to the press reports from Jerusalem, Dayan told the Knesset yesterday that the Americans had received a partial answer from the Egyptians. According to Israel Radio, they amounted to counter-proposals to Israel’s proposals. Dayan was quoted as saying the Egyptian paper “appeared so impossible to the Americans that they, to put it diplomatically, returned it to its author.” Other reports said the Egyptians had offered nothing that could be construed as a counter-proposal to Israel’s peace plan.