Washington (Nov. 1)
Israeli Premier Menachem Begin declared today that Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Fahd’s eight-point Middle East proposal is an “obstacle” to peace in the area and charged that it was a “plan how to liquidate Israel in stages.”
Begin, interviewed in his Jerusalem office on ABC-TV’s “Issues and Answers,” expressed the hope that following last weeks approval of five AWACS reconnaissance planes and other military equipment to Saudi Arabia, the Reagan Administration would not provide new sophisticated military weapons to Jordan. He said such weapons, which King Hussein is expected to ask for during his meetings at the White House tomorrow and Tuesday with President Reagan would be a “direct threat to Israel,” as he said were the AWACS and F-15 enhancement equipment sold to the Saudis.
Reagan sent a letter to Begin shortly after the Senate approved the AWACS sale by a 52-48 vote Wednesday stressing continued U. S. support for the security of Israel and maintenance of the continuation of Israel’s “military and technological advantage,” the Premier said. He said Israel had not made a request for additional weapons at this time.
Begin said he was troubled by “voices” in the United States and Europe expressing support for parts of the Fahd plan. Israeli Ambassador Ephraim Evron protested to Secretary of State Alexander Haig yesterday before leaving Washington for Jerusalem for consultations about American statements on the Fahd proposal.
‘COMPLETE DEVIATION’ FROM CAMP DAVID
The U. S. had rejected the plan as did the late Egyptian President Anwar Sadat when Fahd made his eight point proposal during Sadat’s visit to Washington last August. But last week, Haig and other State Department officials said there were constructive elements in the plan while noting that some points were ones that should result from negotiations. At the same time they emphasized the U. S. commitment to the Camp David process.
The Fahd plan is a “complete deviation from the Camp David agreement,” Begin said today. He said Reagan and Haig, who have assured him of their commitment to the Camp David process, “therefore should reject without any qualifications whatsoever the eight points of Crown Prince Fahd.” Begin explained the threat of the plan by noting it called for the complete withdrawal by Israel to its pre-1967 borders. He said that unlike the situation then, the Arabs now have artillery and missiles that could reach almost every home in Israel if they were placed across the old-1967 borders.
In addition the Fahd plan calls for a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. Begin said such a state would be a “mortal danger” to Israel because it would soon become a Palestine Liberation Organization controlled state and then a Soviet base.
Responding to questions on other matters, Begin said Israel was committed to continue the autonomy negotiations and hoped an agreement could be reached by the end of this year. He said he was sorry the Reagan Administration has not named a replacement to Sol Linowitz who was President Carter’s special envoy to the autonomy talks.
With respect to the situation in Lebanon, Begin said Israel would wait and see what Reagan’s special representative, Ambassador Philip Habib, can accomplish when he returns to the Middle East this month. He said Habib had promised, in Reagan’s name, that the U. S. would seek the removal of the SAM-6 anti-aircraft missiles Syria has installed in Lebanon. He did not say what Israel might do if the missiles are not withdrawn.