WASHINGTON (Dec. 18)
The Carter Administration is preparing a formal statement on its disagreements with the Israeli government over the factors blocking an Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty, the State Department disclosed today. Department spokesman Thomas Reston also said the U.S. has been in contact with both countries about renewing the peace treaty talks after Senators prominently involved in Middle Eastern affairs called for a renewal of the negotiations.
The Department’s acknowledgement that a statement is in preparation was made after a reporter asked if the U.S. is working on a “White Paper,” the term used to describe a government’s written position on an issue. “I’ve heard about that,” Reston said, but added that he does not know “what stage it is in.” He disclosed that Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan and Secretary of State Cyrus Vance have been in communication since Vance was in Jerusalem last Thursday to urge Israel to accept Egypt’s proposals on the draft treaty that were endorsed by the U.S.
Reston said he did not know just when Dayan and Vance were in communication. He said the U.S. is “in touch” with both Israel and Egypt and that American officials are “reviewing with them ways on where we go from here. It is just a reviewing situation, “he said.”We had a number of contacts with the parties in the last couple of days,” he added.
Asked if Vance “realistically expects” Israeli Premier Menachem Begin to “depend on U.S. promises in the light” of the U.S.-China agreement on Taiwan, Reston replied, “Yes, because I don’t believe the foreign policy problems are related.”Reston confirmed that the Israeli and Egyptian military and technical teams that participated in the Blair House peace talks here have left Washington or will be leaving soon. He painted out that “the teams are not tied to the remaining differences in the negotiations.”
Meanwhile, against the background of bitterness between Washington and Jerusalem over the American support for Egypt’s positions and the impact of the U.S. -China agreement that some observers see as having implications for Israel and the Middle East, Israel had a change of ambassadors, a day behind schedule. Simcha Dinitz, who has represented Israel here since March 1973, and his wife, Vivian, left for New York this morning en route home to Israel. Due in Washington later today, is Israel’s new Ambassador, Ephraim Evron and his wife, Rifka.
STONE CRITICIZES ADMINISTRATION
The Carter Administration was criticized yesterday by Sen. Richard Stone (D.Fla.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s subcommittee on the Middle East, who appeared on the CBS-TV program “Face the Nation.” According to a transcript of the program, Stone said that “what went wrong” in the latest round of Israeli-Egyptian negotiations “is that instead of dwelling on the American draft of a peace treaty based on the Camp David accords, we associated ourselves with additional Egyptian demands.
“What we therefore must do,” Stone said, “is to return to the American draft, which even in the latest statements of the Cabinet of Israel, they (the Israelis) said they are ready to sign, and renegotiate again with both countries on the basis of that draft, calmly and at a lower level and without a focus of heat or pressure.”