Special Interview Eban Sees Successful Peace

Abba Eban, Israel’s former Foreign Minister and now a member of the, Knesset, said here that “despite some difficulties, the implementation of the peace with Egypt is successful” and that both the Israeli and the Egyptian governments are determined to make the treaty effective.

In an interview with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Eban, who is here to launch the Tel Aviv University “Program for Peace,” described the peace treaty as the “most revolutionary event for the last 30 years in the Middle East. The immediate need is to develop the peace process by reaching agreements in other sectors as well.”

He expressed hope that Palestinian Arabs and Jordanians will accept the idea of autonomy on the West Bank and Gaza Strip and the Camp David agreements. “I believe there ought to be patience,” he said. “The position of the rejectionist states today was that of (Egyptian President Anwar) Sadat not so long ago. If Egypt has undergone great changes why should not similar changes happen in the attitude of other Arab states and the Palestinians?”

Eban stated that “In Israel, the government needs to understand that as a Jewish democratic state we have no interest in exercising permanent rule over a million Arabs in the West Bank and in Gaza. If our neighbors can offer us peace and secure boundaries, we should encourage them to join the talks in developing their own independence.” Summarizing the prospects for peace, the Israeli diplomat said: “We would do better by maintaining our option for a territorial compromise with Jordan.”

JOINT PROJECTS WITH EGYPT

Addressing an audience of Montreal supporters of Tel Aviv University at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, Haim Ben-Shahar, rector of the university, stressed the activity of the university for peace long before Sadat’s visit to Jerusalem and gave details about forthcoming and far-reaching projects to be undertaken in common with the Cairo University such as: cereal crops’ improvement, desert ecology, biomedicine in the service of rehabilitation of war invalids, research into bilateral economic and commercial projects, and development of the Shiloah Institute of Middle East Research.

Mahmoud A. Wahea, director of the Institute for Applied Research and professor of the City University of New York, speaking as an Egyptian, told the audience that there are important markets Israel and Egypt can develop by direct cooperation and using Israeli know-how and Egyptian skill.

Eban told the audience that the challenge for Israel is to replace the war with that of coexistence, and the answer is the program initiated by Tel Aviv University. He praised Jack Cummings of Montreal as the first Canadian to become the chairman of the Board of Governors of the University.

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