JERUSALEM (Sep. 29)
The autonomy negotiations will resume Oct. 14 with a ministerial level meeting. Premier Menachem Begin has informed the Knesset. Begin’s aides said it was not clear yet where the meeting will be held or whether it will involve the full negotiating teams of Israel, Egypt and the U.S. or only the heads of delegations.
The meeting will be the first since President Anwar Sadat broke off the autonomy negotiations last May. The Oct. 14 date was reportedly suggested by the U.S. after Israel and Egypt failed to agree or a date or locale for the meeting.
According to sources here, this represents a softening of Israel’s insistence that the autonomy talks be resumed at an earlier date. Israel had called for subcommittee level meetings to begin in September and Begin is on record as saying that the first week of October was the latest possible time for the talks to resume.
But Begin said last week that the Egyptians convinced Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir in New York that they had “serious reasons” for delaying the resumed talks.