JERUSALEM (Oct. 28)
The Cabinet today endorsed a series of understandings reached between President Anwar Sadat and President Yitzhak Navon in Cairo to speed up the normalization process between Egypt and Israel. Navon, on a state visit to Egypt, cabled Premier Menachem Begin on his meeting with Sadat yesterday and asked for government approval of the two Presidents’ mutual declaration of intent and desire to push ahead with various facets of normalization.
Sources here said the understandings encompassed tourism, commerce, culture and agricultural cooperation. Sadat, among other things, apparently agreed to abrogate earlier announced Egyptian plans to apply more stringent entry requirements for visitors, especially foreign pilgrims seeking to fly from Eilat into Sinai and visit the Santa Katherina Monastery.
The two Presidents also resolved to reactivate agricultural development projects inside Egypt which have been discussed before but which have not advanced much beyond the planning stages. Sources close to Begin said all the understandings were in fact reiterations of past understandings. “We hope this time they will be implemented,” these sources observed.
But at the same time, the sources flatly dismissed press speculation that the Premier was peeved or otherwise offended at Navon’s involvement in such matters. On the contrary, the sources said, Begin continued to regard Navon’s visit to Egypt as a marked success and relations between the Premier’s office and the President’s office were “excellent.”