Begin, Shamir Warn Israel Will Reject Participation in Mfo by Any European Nation Which Does Not Aff
Menu JTA Search

Begin, Shamir Warn Israel Will Reject Participation in Mfo by Any European Nation Which Does Not Aff

Download PDF for this date

Premier Menachem Begin and Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir have warned in separate statements that any European nation that agrees to participate in the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) for Sinai without affirming that it is doing so within the framework of the Camp David agreements and the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty will not be acceptable to Israel.

Begin declared today, “We warn London and other capitals well in advance that they should not talk about the Venice declaration (of the European Economic Community in June, 1980) or any other declarations. The Multinational Force is being established to ensure Israel’s security under the Israel-Egypt peace treaty and the Camp David accords. We shall not agree to any contingent taking part unless this Camp David commitment is clearly understood,” he said.

Begin spoke at a mass gathering in Eilat marking the opening of that resort town’s winter tourist season. Shamir, addressing the Knesset yesterday, insisted that the MFO which is to patrol Sinai after Israel completes its withdrawal next April, must be “solely on the basis of the Israel-Egypt-U. S. agreement within the framework of Camp David.” He said that countries which wanted to join the MFO but made announcements deviating from that basis would be “disqualified.”


Foreign Ministry officials were reluctant to say today that under Shamir’s criteria Britain would be “disqualified.” British Foreign Secretary Lord Carrington who visited Saudi Arabia this week, has repeatedly said for the record that British participation in the MFO would be “not associated with Camp David.”

Carrington in fact was quoted as repeating that statement in Riyadh last night, after Shamir’s warning in the Knesset. A Foreign Ministry spokesman here said that “If and when Britain officially announces its participation (in the MFO) Israel will then examine” the terms of its participation.

Observers here said Shamir’s warning was intended mainly to head off — or moderate — an evolving EEC statement on the Middle East which the European Common Market nations plan to issue simultaneously with the announcement that several member states would participate in the Sinai force. Britain, France, Holland and Italy are expected to be the European participants.

It is expected here that the EEC statement will re-endorse the Venice declaration and possibly support Saudi Arabia’s eight-point peace plan. The Knesset this week categorically rejected both. According to Israeli officials, Shamir wants to make it clear that Israel would not accept EEC participation in the Force with “strings attached.”

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund