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U.S. Says Egypt Has Not Suspended Participation in Treaty Negotiations

The United States said today that Egypt has not suspended its participation in the peace treaty negotiations with Israel and that its delegation to the Blair House conference is not returning to Cairo as was indicated in earlier reports.

George Sherman, official spokesman for the Blair House conferees, quoted the U.S. delegation and the U.S. Ambassador in Cairo, Hermann Eilts, to that effect. He also said “The Egyptian delegation informs me, insofar as they know, no plans exist for them to leave Washington.”

Sherman said he was informed that members of the Israeli delegation might return to Israel in the latter part of the week to participate in the Israel government’s discussions of peace treaty issues but he did not know who, when or if they would go.

ISSUE IS RELATIONSHIP, NOT LINKAGE

Deliberately avoiding the word “linkage,” Sherman said that a “tentative” American proposal on the “relationship” between the Camp David accords and an Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty was presented to both governments and they will be “reflecting” on it. He said he would refuse to use the word “linkage” because the “issue” deals with “relationship.”

Sherman said that “both governments have received the U.S. proposal” which, he said, “was put forward after intensive consultations with both sides and now both sides are considering it.” Premier Menachem Begin of Israel said after his meeting with Secretary of State Cyrus Vance at Kennedy Airport in New York last night that the word “linkage” is “quite artificial” in this context.

Sherman said he would not agree with reports circulated here that Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan had agreed to the American proposal after his 41/2 hour conference with Vance last night. When asked about the position of the two delegations toward the proposal, he said “That gets into the process of negotiation. The agreement on this and any other issue is reached only by the governments involved. I am not confirming that one or another delegation has committed its government to a course of action.”

The report circulated about Dayan did not say that the Egyptians had received the proposal. According to some observers here, the report appeared to be intended to indicate that Dayan is more flexible than the Israeli Cabinet or Begin. Asked about reports that the Israeli-Egyptian talks might be shifted from Washington to a location in the Middle East, Sherman said “No such proposal has been put to the U.S.”

WON’T RECOGNIZE ‘ANNEXATION’ OF EAST JERUSALEM

Both Sherman and State Department spokesperson Jill Schucker said today that the U.S. position on Jerusalem is that which was contained in President Carter’s letter to Begin directly after the Camp David accords were signed in September.

The Carter letter incorporated statements on the subject by former Undersecretary of State Charles Yost and the former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Arthur Goldberg. This “was and remains the U.S. position on Jerusalem,” reporters were told. The position is that the U.S. does not recognize Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem.

Sherman said, however, that “the U.S. does not intend to pre-judge the outcome of the process foreseen in the Camp David accords” but he declined to say whether this process pertains only to the West Bank and Gaza Strip or to East Jerusalem as well.

Sherman spoke in reply to a series of questions prompted by a report in the New York Times this morning from Rabat by correspondent Flora Lewis. Lewis, who interviewed King Hassan of Morocco, quoted him as saying he was told by Egyptian President Anwar Sadat that the latter had received guarantees from Carter that East Jerusalem would be returned to the Arabs and that the West Bank and Gaza Strip would eventually gain independence.

Administration officials said last night that Carter had given no secret “guarantees” or “commitments” to Sadat about the future of East Jerusalem or the ultimate determination of the status of the West Bank and Gaza. Sherman said essentially the same thing at today’s news briefing. He told reporters that “no secret commitments were made at Camp David.”

In reply to other questions, Sherman said that the American answer to the questions posed by King Hussein of Jordan in September about East Jerusalem “is within the framework of the Goldberg and Yost documents.” He said the American responses to all and the questions put by Hussein are still withheld and he did not know when they might be published.

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