Sadat Meets Labor Party Leaders

Egyptian President Anwar Sadat told leaders of Israel’s opposition Labor Party yesterday that he does not at this time support the Jordanian option for the solution of the problem of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Sadat met at his Cairo home with Labor Party chairman Shimon Peres, former Foreign Minister Abba Eban and Labor Party secretary Haim Barlev for an hour and then with Peres privately for another hour. The Labor leaders arrived in Egypt Friday at Sadat’s invitation for a series of talks with Egyptian leaders.

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Boutros Ghali, later explained that Sadat was not opposed to Jordan joining the talks but that the timing was wrong now. Ghali said he hoped that Jordan would join in the peace process.

Sadat also said he opposed the Labor Party’s proposal to have autonomy for the Palestinian Arabs tested first in the Gaza Strip and then extended to the West Bank. Observers here noted that Sadat appeared to be having as much differences with the Labor position as he does with the government of Premier Menachem Begin which labor hopes to oust next year.

Before meeting with Sodat the Israeli delegation had an eight-hour symposium with leaders of Egypt’s ruling National Democratic Party. The meeting, in the “October” magazine building, included Ghali, farmer Premier Mustapha Khalil, Annis Mansour, editor of October; Ibrahim Hilmi, a former assistant to the UN Secretary General, and former Minister Ibrahim Mahfouz.

During the symposium; Eban mode it clear that Labor will not support a withdrawal on the West Bank to the pre-1967 borders. He said Israel accepted United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 after it was made clear that it did not call for a total withdrawal. Israel has on obsession on security matters” and is entitled to such on obsession,” he said. The Egyptians did not agree. They noted that in an age of missiles, territory has little value.

Khalil called on the Labor Party to create on atmosphere in Israel so that the peace process momentum can be maintained and perhaps given even more impetus. Outside of opening remarks, the symposium was closed to the press and public.

During the talks with Sodat, the Egyptian President was invited by Peres to attend the Labor Party convention in December. It was learned that Sadat might send Deputy Premier Hasni Murarak, who was meeting with the Labor group today. (By Yitzhak Shargil)

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