LONDON (Jan. 27)
Sol Linowitz, President Carter’s special Ambassador for Middle East negotiations, came under pressure from British officials to speed up the talks on Palestinian autonomy. At the same time, Linowitz, who met with King Hussein of Jordan here yesterday was unable to get a commitment from Hussein to join the Egyptian-Israeli talks.
Hussein’s refusal to join the autonomy talks was announced by a spokesman for the King after Hussein held an hour-long talk with Linowitz. “Anything related to the Camp David agreements cannot be accepted by Jordan or any Arab country, ” the spokesman said.
Linowitz is believed to have heard blunt talk from Lord Carrington. Britain’s Foreign Minister, when the two met at the Foreign Office for an hour Friday. Carrington is believed to have placed the blame for the delay on the Israeli government and to have encouraged Linowitz to impress on Premier Menachem Begin the damage which Britain feels the failure to solve the Palestinian issue will cause the West in the current international climate. Linowitz stopped in London on the way to the Mideast where he will visit Egypt Israel, Saudi Arabia and Morocco.
In an address to the House of Lords last Thursday night, Lord Carrington made it clear he regarded a settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict the single most important contribution to political stability in the Mideast where the West is trying to organize resistance to Soviet expansion following the invasion of Afghanistan.
FRUSTRATED BY AUTONOMY DEADLOCK
Britain is frustrated by the autonomy deadlock because it seems to be impeding British efforts to unify the Moslem and Arab worlds at a time when it is vital and possible to align them with the West against the Soviet Union. This was the view which Lord Carrington propounded to journalists during his recent visit to Turkey, Oman Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.
Since then, several British newspapers, including the normally pro-Israel Daily Telegraph, have amplified the official complaints about Israel while giving scant recognition of her major withdrawal from Singi last week.
In the wake of the Foreign Office talks some observers expect Britain to become even more active on the Middle East scene. They think it will become bolder in according some form of status to the Palestine Liberation Organization, whose “foreign minister” Farouk Koddoumi met Sir Ian Gilmour, Britain’s Deputy Foreign Minister, here last month.
A further echo of that encounter was heard-Friday when British Foreign Office Minister of State Douglas Hurd lunched with Shazly Klibi, the Arab League’s Secretary General. The two men last met here at the same gathering at which Gilmour met Koddoumi. For the time being, though, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher remains opposed to granting respectability to an organization involved in terrorism.