LONDON (Mar. 13)
Yigael Yadin Deputy Premier of Israel, last night warned Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher that any outside interference in the Arab-Israeli peace process would have “very crucial effects.”
The two leaders met for nearly 45 minutes at 10 Downing Street against the background of growing British and European calls for a new initiative to sour the flogging talks on Palestinian autonomy, and to involve the Palestine Liberation Organization in the peace talks and in the “self-determination” of the Palestinian people. Yadin, who was accompanied by Ambassador Shlomo Angov, forcefully declared Israel’s opposition to any new moves by the European Economic Community (EEC) and urged that the current peace process should be “allowed to exhaust itself.”
He also complained about the arguments of Lord Carrington, Britain’s Foreign Secretary, who is out of the country, that the crisis in Afghanistan has made it all the more necessary to mollify the Arab and Moslem worlds over the “Palestinian issue.” According to Israeli sources, Yadin told Mrs. Thatcher that her Foreign Secretary’s arguments were “totally unacceptable” to Israel, which viewed the Afghanistan and Palestinian conflicts as completely different and separate.
Despite Yadin’s straight talking — something in which Mrs. Thatcher herself specializes — officials described the meeting as “very friendly.” Mrs. Thatcher’s expressed special interest in the Israeli government’s new package of economic measures including the public spending cuts which resemble those adopted by her own government.
GLOOMY PROSPECTS ABOUT BRITAIN’S INITIATIVE
Yadin is expected to refer publicly over the next two days to his impression of Britain’s Middle East policy. However, Israeli diplomats stationed here remain gloomy about the prospects of restraining for long Britain’s drive for a new initiative which favors the PLO. Mrs. Thatcher gave Israelis some slight satisfaction Monday night when she was interviewed on French television. She said she supported France’s call for Palestinian self-determination, but also stressed the need for the Palestinians to recognize Israel “within secure borders.”
Meanwhile, Yadin predicted today that the leaders of Israel, Egypt and the U.S. will meet again at Camp David in June or July. His comment, to Jewish journalists, was intended to show that the peace process would, if necessary, continue after May 26, the Camp David accords deadline for completing the negotiations on autonomy. The need to keep pressing for an agreement after that date was also given by Yadin as a reason for not calling early general elections in Israel. Premier Menachem Begin had a chance to implement Camp David and should be given a full chance to do so, he said. Yadin is visiting Britain as the guest of the Joint Israel Appeal.