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Ghorbal’s View of the Summit Accords

Ashraf Ghorbal, the Egyptian Ambassador to the United States, envisions the Camp David accords as bringing about “full withdrawal” of Israeli forces from the Golan Heights, the West Bank and Gaza Strip as well as from Sinai, and “independence” for “the Palestinian nation.”

Ghorbal, a member of the Egyptian delegation at Camp David, addressed the annual conference sponsored jointly by the Middle East Institute and the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies at the Mayflower Hotel here last weekend. His text was provided by the Egyptian Embassy to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency which had requested it.

Ghorbal told the gathering, “Let me emphasize that at Camp David we didn’t hear objections to the application of withdrawal provision to the Golan Heights. All we heard was, ‘How can we Israelis discuss the Golan Heights while Syria does not recognize our country, Israel?’ These were the very words of Foreign Minister (Moshe) Dayan at dinner one night at Camp David. We explained that the disengagement agreement between Syria and Israel is proof of the recognition he is concerned about.”

Ghorbal continued: “I have full confidence that the principles that have been incorporated in the framework applicable to Sinai in terms of full withdrawal, including the Israeli settlements, mutual security and otherwise, will also apply to the Golan and will be incorporated in due time in the peace treaty between Syria and Israel.”

Outlining the measures in the two frameworks adopted at Camp David that include “full autonomy” for the inhabitants of the West Bank and Gaza, Ghorbal noted: “Above all, let us ask ourselves the question, when did the full autonomy anywhere in the world not lead to the self-determination and finally to independence? What we have done in Camp David is to change the course of events and to create a momentum that will ultimately take the Palestinians to their goal of self-determination. A new horizon has already started to dawn on the Palestinian nation. Let us rise with it and help a collective responsibility to move things and not freeze them.”

Saying that negotiations over the West Bank “will also resolve the question of minor rectifications included in the 1967 lines,” Ghorbal added that “these will be governed by two factors–foremost the legitimate rights of the Palestine people and their just requirements as well as the nature of security arrangements.” He said that “border adjustments will be no more than minor rectifications.” and urged: “Solve and do not create irredentism is, I believe, the new motto. It must be. It will be.”

REMINDER: There will be no Bulletin dated Oct. 9 due to Columbus Day, a postal holiday, and no Bulletins dated Oct. 11 and 12 due to Yom Kippur.

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