TEL AVIV (Jul. 11)
President Anwar Sadat of Egypt pledged, in a message to the Israeli people, that “I shall continue with my peace initiative to the end. Political handicaps and misunderstandings between me and the Israeli Premier will not prevent me from going on with my plans,” he told Yediot Achronot correspondent Ilan Kfir in a Vienna interview published here today.
Sadat, who only yesterday said he was very deeply disappointed that the Israeli Cabinet has rejected his six-point peace proposal and appeared pessimistic over the prospects of next week’s meeting between the Israeli and Egyptian foreign ministers in London, declared: “I am a natural optimist. Therefore I shall not let go my plans until peace is achieved.”
He asked the Israeli mass circulation daily to “Please tell the Israelis, especially the young generation who has suffered so much from the wars, please tell them that we all hope that the October (1973) war was the last war. Tell the Israelis in my name and in the name of the Egyptian nation as follows: permanent peace–yes. Security arrangements and proper guarantees–yes. But controlling occupied Arab territories–no. Sovereignty over Arab territories–no.”
Sadat said he was aware of Israel’s sensitivity over security. “In the negotiations,” he said, “we shall try to get proper guarantees for the security of all sides. Israel and we are in need of such security arrangements.” He dwelt on the need for peace “and to reach that we need good neighborly relations in every possible meaning that one can find for it in the dictionaries,” Sadat said.
He said, “I shall never forget the tens of thousands of Israelis cheering me during my visit in Jerusalem. I saw how much they want peace.” Sadat also gave the Israeli correspondent a hand-written message: “Best wishes to the readers of Yediot Achronot and all Israelis for eternal peace, security and a quiet life.”