Jerusalem (Jan. 20)
Twelve members of Egypt’s Parliament sat in the Knesset gallery today watching their Israeli counterparts debate over a date for early elections. The group, headed by Mohammed Ahmed Abdullah, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Egyptian Peoples Assembly, arrived last night on a long-planned visit. It is the first of what is hoped to be a series of inter-changes between Israeli and Egyptian parliamentarians as the process of normalization continues.
The Egyptian group includes one woman and one member of the opposition Liberal Party. The others belong to President Anwar Sadat’s ruling National Democratic Party. They are accompanied by four Egyptian journalists who cover the Parliament in Cairo.
Abdullah told reporters that their very presence in the Knesset was the best proof that normalization between Egypt and Israel is making progress. He and his colleagues professed to know nothing of the ban on Israel’s participation in the international book fair opening in Cairo next week, which was reported here yesterday.
The visitors met with a group of Knesset members this morning and are due to meet separately with Shimon Peres, chairman of the opposition Labor Party, and former Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan, now an independent MK.