LONDON (Oct. 17)
The embassies of Egypt, Israel and the United States confirmed here today that the next round of talks on Palestinian autonomy will be held in London’s Churchill Hotel. All the delegations are being booked into the hotel and the talks are expected to take place under the same roof. The hotel was chosen as the venue for last year’s meeting between Israel Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan and the Egyptian Foreign Minister. But the talks were shifted at the last minute to Leeds Castle, Kent, 50 miles east of London because of fears of an Arab terrorist attack.
The official reason given by the Americans and the Egyptians for changing the venue of the talks from Alexandria to London is that Egyptian Premier Mustapha Khalil, who heads his country’s delegation to the talks, will be in Europe next week. He arrived today in Vienna and he is due to arrive in London Oct. 24 for a four-day visit during which he will meet British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Observers believe, however, that the talks may have been shifted to London in a deliberate effort to upgrade their importance in the face of widespread attacks on Egypt’s “sell-out” of the Palestinian cause.