Tel Aviv (Oct. 28)
Egypt has agreed to most of Israel’s demands for easy access and
freedom of movement for Israeli tourists in Sinai after Israel’s final withdrawal from the peninsula next April. This was indicated in the 13-paragraph “agreed minutes” signed by Egyptian and Israeli officials at the end of Foreign Minister Kamal Hassan Ali’s three day visit yesterday.
The signatures were those of Hanan Baron and Taher Shash, officials of the Israeli and Egyptian foreign ministries respectively. The final agreement will be signed by Ali and Israeli Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir after it has been formally ratified by the two governments.
Among the provisions are: Visas will be granted to tourists to Eilat who arrive at the Rasel-Naqb airport, the former Etzion air base near Sharmel-Sheikh which Israel will evacuate. The visas will be issued on the spot. Israeli and Egyptian flights between Sinai and Israel will be on a mutual basis. Air corridors will be designated and consulates opened by Egypt in Eilat and by Israel at Sharmel-Sheikh.
FOUR BORDER CROSSINGS
Four border crossing points along the old international frontier to which Israel is to withdraw are detailed, with Israel building the necessary facilities for both countries at each check-point.
Free movement is to be permitted for both countries in Sinai, by bus, car, and motorcycle. Arrangements for the Egyptian purchase of existing Israeli facilities will be coordinated through a joint commission to be established. The commission will also discuss and agree on local arrangements for police and other matters in the border area, including smuggling and public health and veterinary services.
Visas for local tourists visiting Sinai and the Eilat area will be issued to Israeli and Egyptian tourists at one of the border check points. Egyptian officials will be allowed to visit the areas of southern Sinai to be evacuated by Israel in advance of the evacuation date, to enable them to make suitable arrangements for procedures after April.
The next meeting of the high committee (the ministerial committee which hammered out this agreement) is to take place in Egypt on January 11-13.