JERUSALEM (Dec. 16)
U.S. special Ambassador Sol Linowitz admitted here today that Israel did not receive the credit due it for the concessions it made to achieve its peace treaty with Egypt. He attributed that oversight to the fact that the western media was preoccupied with the issue of Israel’s settlements on the West Bank.
Linowitz made his remarks at a meeting with Israel’s autonomy negotiating team. He said he felt sorry that Israel’s concessions for peace were not fully recognized because he saw in Israeli policy a genuine desire to reach an agreement on autonomy for the West Bank and Gaza. He suggested that Israel should have made clear from the start that it did not intend to build many more settlements on the West Bank.
Linowitz is here on what is widely regarded as his final diplomatic mission for the outgoing Carter Administration. He arrived today from Cairo where he met with President Anwar Sodat and other Egyptian officials. He paid a brief courtesy call on Premier Menachem Begin and is scheduled to meet with him again tomorrow for a working session.
MESSAGES FROM CARTER AND REAGAN
The envoy brought with him messages from President Carter and from President-elect Reagan, Carter urged the parties to renew the momentum of the autonomy talks. Reagan gave his assurances that he is determined to continue the negotiations on the Lasis of the Camp David accords and that any changes to the Camp David formula would be introduced only with the prior consent of both parties. The messages were essentially the same that Linowitz brought to Sodat in Cairo yesterday.
Much of the talk during his meeting with the autonomy negotiating team centered on the Jordanian option which is said to be favored by the opposition Labor Party. Deputy Premier Yigael Yadin was critical of that option and warned that if the new American Administration waited for a possible change of government in Israel next year, it could mean abandonment of the Camp David process.
Linowitz assured his hosts that Reagan has not said anything which could be interpreted as support for the Jordanian option. He said he had told Reagan, before leaving the U.S., that the Camp David agreements embodied the Jordanian option and that anyone who thought of it as an alternative to Camp David was misreading the accords.