Begin Repeats Warning on New Conditions for Sinai Force

Premier Menachem Begin reiterated today Israel’s demand that no additional conditions be set by nations for joining the Multinational Force (MNF) for the Sinai, a reference to the 1980 Venice Declaration of the European Economic Community (EEC) which includes a clause calling for “association” of the Palestine Liberation Organization in the Middle East peace process.

Speaking at the weekly Cabinet session, Begin demanded that no mention be made of the Venice Declaration in connection with participation in the MNF. Begin was responding to comments made by Lord Carrington, British Foreign Secretary which linked participation in the MNF to the Venice Declaration and to the need to “supervise” Israel’s withdrawal from the Sinai next April. The Premier said the MNF was not intended to supervise Israel’s withdrawal.

According to a Cabinet communique, Begin did not specify which MNF documents should avoid any reference to the Venice Declaration. It was reported, however, that he had in mind the forthcoming official EEC announcement on sending troops to the force.

Begin said the only relevant documents on the force were the Camp David accords, the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty, President Carter’s letter to Egyptian President Sadat and to Premier Begin, as well as the agreement on the force.

Begin declared that “Israel regards abstention from mentioning additional documents as a non-negotiable condition to participation in the force.”

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