JERUSALEM (Jan. 16)
The lesson of Afghanistan for Israel is that a Palestinian state would lead to a direct Soviet presence in the Middle East, Premier Menachem Begin told the Knesset today. Begin also reported to the Knesset on his meetings last week with Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in Aswan. He said Israel and Egypt were agreed regarding the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, which he termed as “one of the most serious events of the area.” (See related analysis P. 4.)
On the relations with Egypt, Begin said normalization was proceeding satisfactorily. The Israeli-Egyptian military committee would decide this week on the classing points between the two countries, and next week the matter of air and communications contacts would be worked out, he said.
The link between the events in Afghanistan and Iran and the negotiations in the Mideast were also discussed today by Deputy Premier Yigael Yadin. Referring to recent comments by U.S. Secretary of State Cyrus Vance that Israel could help the U.S. by speeding up the solution of the Palestinian problem, Yodin criticized him for linking the two issues which, Yodin said, were completely separate.
“To connect that with the Israeli-Egyptian bilateral problems is a wrong way to exert pressure,” Yodin told the Voice of Israel. “We should continue our negotiations with Egypt as if nothing happens in the region. We should try to help wherever we can, as if we have no problems in the negotiations with Egypt.”