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U.S. Urging Egypt to Tone Down Insistence on Detailed Timetable

The United States indicated yesterday that it is urging Egypt to lessen its insistence on a detailed timetable linking an Egyptian-Israel peace treaty with the political process on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. At the same time, the United States appeared to be seeking that Israel also move from the decision taken by the Israeli Cabinet Tuesday which rejected the Egyptian demands and also did not accept the linkage proposal in the U.S. compromise of Nov. II.

These developments appeared yesterday when Blair House conference spokesman, George Sherman of the State Department, said President Carter telephoned Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and in a 10-minute conversation discussed the “state of negotiations following the Israeli Cabinet decision” Tuesday. He gave no details, but according to reports, Sadat gave Carter assurances that the peace talks would continue.

Hermann Eilts, the U.S. Ambassador to Egypt, met Sadat yesterday in “a preliminary discussion about the same subject,” Sherman said. In this connection, Sherman pointed out that consultations are underway with both Egypt and Israel “about the next steps in the negotiations.” Sherman said that Carter spoke to Sadat after receiving Eilts’ report on his conversation with Sadat.

Meanwhile, reports from Cairo today said that Sadat told reporters after a meeting with parliamentary members of his party that he and Carter had agreed to reassess and review the situation and exchange views next week. He reiterated Egypt’s commitment to linking any treaty with a timetable for Palestinian self-rule but said that he would not be able to comment until after a top-level policy meeting attended by Egypt’s chief peace negotiator, Defense Minister Kamal Hassan Ali, who is expected home late today.

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