Begin, Carter Confident of Early Completion of Peace Treaty
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Begin, Carter Confident of Early Completion of Peace Treaty

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President Carter and Premier Menachem Begin of Israel met for a half-hour this afternoon at the home of Arthur Krim, a prominent Jewish businessman active in Democratic Party affairs. Both expressed confidence that an Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty will be completed soon.

The meeting was a fund-raising affair for Gov. Hugh Carey of New York where the President invited Begin this morning to join him. About 100 people were present. When Begin entered, he and Carter embraced and the Israeli leader told the President that real progress was made in his talks with Secretary of State Cyrus Vance here this morning.

Before beginning their private meeting, the Premier said he believes a peace treaty will be signed soon between Israel and Egypt and that Carter will sign as a witness. Carter told the gathering that he also thinks there will be peace soon in the Middle East due to the courage of President Anwar Sadat of Egypt and Begin. He said that Begin “has been willing to put his political future at stake” in order to achieve peace in the Middle East.

The Premier presented Carter with a gift, a book by Israeli Supreme Court Justice Chaim Cohen titled “The Trial and Death of Jesus.”


Begin disclosed, meanwhile, that in his talks with Vance this morning he proposed that Israel’s withdrawal from Sinai be financed by a 25-year low-interest loan from the U.S. He said that Vance welcomed the idea and told him it would make matters much easier and that he would discuss it with Carter. The matter will be discussed further when Israeli Finance Minister Simcha Ehrlich comes to Washington next week.

Until now it was understood that Israel expected the U.S. to finance the huge costs, estimated in the billions of dollars, of the removal of Israeli air bases and settlements from Sinai. Begin stressed, in his remarks to reporters that Israel doesn’t want a gift from the U.S. and is asking only for a loan for that purpose.

Begin had a meeting this afternoon with Yiddish novelist Isaac Bashevis Singer who he received in his Regency Hotel suite. They talked for a half hour. Singer was awarded the 1978 Nobel Prize for Literature. Begin is the joint winner of the 1978 Nobel Peace Prize with President Anwar Sadat of Egypt. This evening, Begin received the Family of Man Award from the New York City Council of Churches, an award he won jointly with Sadat.

Begin will have a private audience tomorrow with Theodore Mann, chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. On Saturday night he will meet with a delegation of the Presidents Conference.

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