JERUSALEM (Jul. 13)
Israel’s autonomy negotiating team met here today in preparation for resuming the autonomy talks with Egypt, suspended since May 8. Justice Minister Shmuel Tamir will head the Israeli delegation to Cairo for the first session of a committee on legal matters over which he will preside jointly with Egypt’s Minister of State, Butros Ghali.
But Tamir told reporters after today’s weekly Cabinet meeting that his mandate is not restricted to legal matters. “The issues are the substance of the autonomy. These are not purely legal matters. They are political and judicial matters interwoven” Tamir said. “It will relate to the source of the autonomy, the scope and powers of the autonomy as well as the administration of justice, the issues of legislation and similar issues which relate to the substance of the autonomy,” he said.
Tamir added, “We shall push ahead with the negotiations, tackling the difficult issues with an all-out attempt to have as quick as possible a real breakthrough if only possible. We shall do our utmost to bring autonomy – which was initiated by Israel – into reality,” he said.
No date has yet been announced for a plenary meeting of the autonomy negotiators headed by interior Minister Yosef Burg for Israel, Egyptian Foreign Minister Kamal Hassan Ali and U.S. special Ambassador Sol Linowitz.