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U.s.-israeli Differences ‘tactical,’ American Envoy Says

Deputy Premier Yigael Yadin and U.S. Ambassador Samuel Lewis talked about U.S.-Israeli relations and the American role in the current Middle East peace process today. The occasion was a luncheon of the American-Israel Chamber of Commerce here, addressed by both men. Lewis said the current differences between the U.S. and Israel were “tactical differences of opinion.”

Yadin, who heads the Democratic Movement for Change (DMC), stressed that Israel wants the U.S. “to be a partner to our fate but it is we that shall decide our fate, we alone and none other.” He said the American task today is to bring the two sides, Israelis and the Egyptians, to the conference table for direct negotiations. He warned that one-sided pressure on the part of the U.S. could miss the target which is peace. He claimed that the Egyptians are to blame for the current stalemate in the peace process.

Lewis stressed the special nature of the bands between Israel and the U.S. “This is what is behind the differences of opinion we have from time to time in our mutual striving for our mutual aim–security and the existence of your country and the long-needed peace in this region,” he said. He said he was not pessimistic because there is a great motivation for peace both in Israel and Egypt. He suggested that Israeli-U.S. relations are better discussed in quiet diplomacy than through the communications media.

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