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Carter Says Work on Israeli-egyptian Treaty ‘partly Undone’ by Differences over Language

President Carter said today that some of the agreements worked out by Israeli and Egyptian peace treaty negotiators in Washington were “undone” when they took it back to their home governments.

On more than one occasion the negotiators had reached agreement on the language of the text of a part of the agreement, he told a news conference in Kansas City, where he had come to address the Future Farmers of America. “When they refer that text back to the leaders at home in Egypt and Israel, sometimes the work that has been done is partly undone,” he said.

Answering questions from local reporters, Carter stressed that both Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Premier Menachem Begin agree with him that an Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty must be linked with efforts to achieve a comprehensive settlement in the Middle East, although they differed over the language. “There has been some difference of opinion between the two leaders (Sadat and Begin) about how specifically that (the linkage) should be expressed in the Sinai treaty,” Carter said. “I personally favor the presently negotiated language which in the preamble does say that both nations commit themselves to carry out a comprehensive peace agreement as was agreed at Camp David.”

The President at one point said this included an agreement on the Golan Heights as well as the West Bank although the Camp David agreements did not mention the Golan. Syria has been a leader of the rejection of the Camp David accords by Arab states. Carter stressed that the differences over language do “not violate” the Camp David agreements. He reiterated that the U.S. was “not trying to impose” its beliefs on Egypt and Israel but would leave it to them to negotiate. “We hope they will rapidly reach a conclusion,” he said.

(Reports from Cairo today quoted Egyptian President Anwar Sadat as saying that a quick agreement on a peace treaty with Israel may not be possible because of differences over linkage of the treaty and an overall Middle East settlement that Egypt wants. The Middle East News Agency reported that Sadat told a Kuwaiti journalist that the talks in Washington may have to be interrupted before an agreement is reached.)

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