JERUSALEM (Dec. 29)
More visits to Israel by Egyptian Cabinet ministers during the next few weeks will accelerate the pace of normalization between the two countries, Israeli officials believe. Political circles here described the five-day visit of Egypt’s Minister of Agriculture, Mahmoud Mahmoud Daoud, as on important breakthrough in Israeli-Egyptian relations.
Agriculture Minister Ariel Sharon will leave for Egypt shortly to return Daoud’s visit and Egypt’s Minister of Industry will visit here. According to political observers, the most significant aspect of Daoud’s visit was his meeting in Jerusalem with President Yitzhak Navon and Premier Menachem Begin. Although the Egyptians stressed that this should not be construed as recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over united Jerusalem, Daoud’s presence here in effect ended Egypt’s boycott of the Israeli capital.