WASHINGTON (Sep. 10)
Israeli and Egyptian leaders were in Washington today for discussions with high government officials and key Congressional figures. Shimon Peres, chairman of Israel’s Labor Party and leader of the Knesset Labor Alignment opposition in town for one crowded day, had scheduled meetings with Senators Frank Church (D.Id.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Jacob Javits (R.NY), lunched with National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski at the White House, and met with Secretary of State Cyrus Vance at the State Department.
State Department spokesman Hodding Carter said that the Peres visit was “just another one of the regular meetings the Secretary has with the leader of the opposition in Israel periodically over a long period of time.” However, the fact that Peres is here only a few days before Israeli Defense Minister Ezer Weizman is due to arrive and the sessions next week of Vance, Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan and Egyptian Defense Minister Kamal Hassan Ali, indicated to some observers that the timing of Peres’ visit had significance beyond exchanges of views.
(Weizman arrived in New York this afternoon and will remain there until Wednesday when he will go to Washington to hold talks with Vance Defense Secretary Harold Brown and other officials. While in New York, Weizman is expected to meet with Jewish leaders and Israeli officials and will appear this Sunday on ABC-TV’s “Issues and Answers.”)
Meanwhile, Egyptian Vice President Hosni Mubarak arrived here last night with his wife and two sons for a two-week stay and was greeted at Andrews Air Force Base by Vance and his wife. Spokesman Carter said he “believed” Mubarak is carrying a message from Egyptian President Anwar Sadat to President Carter. “This is also a private visit in protocol terms, but the Vice President’s stay in Washington and his discussions are clearly part of the ongoing Middle East peace process,” Carter said. “It is also another symbol of the close relations that exist between our two countries.”
Asked if King Hussein of Jordan would also be in Washington this month, Carter noted that September’s schedule is full of meetings but “perhaps” he may come.
(In Paris today, Hussein said after holding luncheon talks with President Valer scard d’Estaing, that he has no intention of joining Egypt and Israel in the autonomy talks. He said the Palestinian people should decide their own freedom in total freedom, “not in anything that is worked out either by the United States, Israel and Egypt.” He said the Palestinian problem should be worked out in the UN with all the parties involved Hussein declined to say whether he and the PLO favored the creation of an Arab confederation comprising Jordan and the West Bank or whether he would discuss such a project with Carter in Washington possibly early next month.)