WASHINGTON (Nov. 14)
White House Press Secretary Jody Powell said today that President Carter was not suggesting a new summit meeting between Premier Menachem Begin and President Anwar Sadat when he spoke last night of the differences between the Camp David meeting of heads of state and the current negotiations in Washington for an Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty. He also said that the President had not spoken by telephone to either Begin or Sadat between last Sunday and “shortly after Camp David.”
Carter was interviewed in the Oval Office by Bill Moyers of the Public Broadcasting System. Their hour-long conversation, broadcast last night on the PBS network, included a general discussion of Camp David and subsequent developments in the peace process. Replying to questions by reporters today, Powell said the transcript of the program was inaccurate in many places.
The President said that the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty negotiations now in their fourth week in Washington were proving more difficult than the Camp David talks where the three heads of state remained in close proximity until an agreement was reached. Powell said another such meeting was “not his (Carter’s) intention.” Asked which side is to blame for the snags in the negotiations, Carter replied: “I wouldn’t want to start saying who is being more stubborn; I think there is adequate stubbornness to be allotted to both sides.” He added: “We just pray that the agreements be reached.”
Meanwhile, George Sherman, spokesman for the Blair House conferees, denied a report that Sadat was sending Vice President Hosni Mubarak to Washington to head the Egyptian delegation. He said Mubarak was coming here to see Carter and would remain for several days. Sherman said discussions continued on the military annex to an Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty. He said the U.S., Israeli and Egyptian delegations met for several hours on the subject yesterday.
Asked why the U.S. has presented two proposals to Israel and Egypt for linkage between a peace treaty and the West Bank and Gaza Strip issues after Carter had said on Oct. 12 that there was no legal connection between the two Camp David frameworks, Powell said that “both sides have asked for assurances that go beyond” the Camp David accords and that “changes are inherent in the process.”