Ben-elissar Dissatisfied with the Pace of Normalization

Israel’s Ambassador to Egypt, Eliahu Ben-Elissar, said he was dissatisfied with the pace of normalization in relations between Egypt and Israel. He said, in an interview here, that it was proceeding much more slowly than Israel had hoped of expected. But he maintained that he is still confident that Israel’s expectations would be met.

The envoy returned to his post in Cairo today after a long weekend in Jerusalem during which he briefed Premier Menachem Begin, Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir, Chief of Staff Raphael Eitan and other officials on his perception of the current political situation in Egypt. Ben-Elissar, accompanied by his wife, Nitza, drove here from Cairo and back in his own car. It was the first time a car with Egyptian diplomatic license plates was seen in Jerusalem.

Meanwhile, according to reports from Cairo, Israeli and Egyptian delegates ended three days of talks and remained deadlocked in their efforts to reach agreement on an agenda for the autonomy talks. The negotiations were resumed Sunday after being suspended for more than two months. The current talks are on the committee level. Israeli Justice Minister Shmuel Tamir and the Egyptian Minister of State, Butros Ghali, head their respective delegations. Tamir told reporters last night that a serious gap exists between the two sides but they agreed to hold the next committee meeting in Israel on July 28. Ghali said yesterday that agreement had been reached on only one agenda item out of some 30 items under consideration.

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