WASHINGTON (Mar. 5)
Following is the text of Begin’s statement to the press at Blair House after the White House announcement of President Carter’s trip to Egypt and Israel:
“I welcome the forthcoming visit of President Carter to Israel. This memorable visit will be of great importance to our people and to the mutual relations between the United States and Israel which is based on genuine friendship, as I learned again, during my latest visit to this country.
“I believe that the people of Israel will receive our friend, the President, not only with our traditional hospitality, but also with great warmth.
“I am cutting short my stay in the United States and will fly home Wednesday to be in Jerusalem and participate directly in making preparations for this momentous visit. The President will come to us directly from Egypt.
“I believe as a result of our latest talks, that the visit both to Cairo and to Jerusalem will further the cause of peace and bring closer a prospect of concluding the treaty of peace between Egypt and Israel.”
Begin did not answer any questions from the reporters. When his press spokesman, Dan Pattir, was asked about the agreements made here, he replied that they would remain secret for the present.