JERUSALEM (Dec. 25)
Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan is expected to propose to the Cabinet a compromise formula that should break the present deadlock in the negotiations with Egypt, according to informed sources in Jerusalem. Dayan met today with Premier Menachem Begin and briefed him on his talks over the weekend in Brussels with Egyptian Premier Mustapha Khalil. He apparently tried to win the support of Begin to his views.
The Foreign Minister is expected to propose that Israel move toward Egypt on two issues: the fourth clause in the draft peace treaty which allows for a review of the agreement within an agreed period of time, and the Egyptian demand for a target date on the implementation of the autonomy.
In return, Dayan reportedly proposes Israel should insist on the two main points in Article VI–namely, that the agreement with Israel should hold priority over previous agreements between Egypt and other Arab states, and that no linkage be made between the Sinai pullback and the progress of talks on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
INDICATION OF EGYPT’S WILLINGNESS
There is still a heavy curtain of secrecy cast over the Dayan-Khalil talks. However, there is at least one indication that Dayan apparently believes his compromise formula would be accepted by the Egyptians. When he arrived from Brussels last night he said the differences could be bridged “if both sides move toward each other’s position and if the governments decide they are ready for this.” He said the Brussels talks have shown that an agreement is possible.
Yediot Achronot reported today that the Egyptian-Israeli talks would resume next month. However, the paper said there was neither a date nor the form of the negotiations. The Cabinet may convene Wednesday in order to hear a briefing from Dayan on the Brussels talks. Israel Radio, however, reported today that the Cabinet meeting could take place tomorrow.
(Secretary of State Cyrus Vance said upon his return to Washington last night that his meetings with Dayan and Khalil were “helpful.” He stressed that the purpose of the talks “was to explore the nature of the next steps to be taken in the negotiations and not to set a date for the resumption of negotiations.” Vance’s statement was seen as a rebuttal to media reports that he had failed to break the deadlock in the Egyptian-Israeli talks. Vance had gone to Brussels from in conclusive talks in Geneva with Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko on the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT). See P. 3 for full Brussels talks story.)