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Autonomy Talks Termed Successful

“Very successful” was how Israel’s Interior Minister, who is also Israel’s chief negotiator in the Palestinian autonomy talks, described his meeting in Cairo today with Egypt’s Premier Mustapha Khalil and U.S. special Ambassador to the Middle East So I Linowitz. Linowitz also affirmed, in brief remarks to reporters, that progress had been made.

Yosef Burg, Israel’s negotiator, and Linowitz had flown to Cairo from Tel Aviv earlier in the day for a top level talk with Khalil who, because of pressing internal business, was unable to come to Israel for the plenary session of autonomy talks originally scheduled this week in Herzliya. The meeting was postponed to next week at the request of the Egyptians: However, Burg received a cable yesterday from Khalil that he would not be able to attend next week’s meeting either.

Khalil explained he could not come because of “prior obligations,” but it is known that he has been accused of being involved in an internal scandal and has demanded his reputation be cleared and is determined not to leave Egypt until this matter is resolved. The plenary session, therefore, will take place next week in the Cairo suburb of Giza and Linowitz reportedly will not be able to attend, according to Israel Radio.

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