Jerusalem (Dec. 28)
Israel has received assurances from Egypt that its annexation of the Golan Heights will not affect relations between the two countries. Israel’s Ambassador to Cairo, Moshe Sasson, said that position was conveyed to him by President Hosni Mubarak.
Sasson was interviewed on the Voice of Israel Radio today shortly after he handed Mubarak a letter from Premier Menachem Begin affirming that Israel would complete its evacuation of Sinai by next April 26, the deadline set in the Egyptian Israeli peace treaty. The letter also explained Israel’s reasons for imposing its law on the Golan Heights, Sasson said.
He said his one-hour meeting with the Egyptian President was held “in a very friendly atmosphere.” Mubarak is scheduled to visit Israel in February but no date has been set yet.
U.S.-ISRAEL RELATIONS SEEN AS IMPROVING
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir met here today with Sen. Charles Percy (R. III.) chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee amid reports that U.S.-Israel relations are improving. They reached a low point a week ago when the U.S. announced suspension of its recently signed strategic cooperation agreement with Israel and Begin replied with an angry attack on the Reagan Administration for its treatment of Israel.
Percy is the first major American political figure to visit Israel since its rift with the U.S. over the Golan law and officials here attach great importance to it. The Senator, on a tour of Middle Eastern countries, is scheduled to meet with Begin, Defense Minister Ariel Sharon, and Moshe Arens, chairman of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Security Committee who is Israel’s Ambassador-designate to the U.S.
U.S. WOULD VETO SANCTIONS RESOLUTION
Yediot Achronot reported today that U.S. officials, meeting over the weekend with senior Foreign Ministry officials, assured them the U.S. would veto any resolution calling for sanctions against Israel that may come up when the UN Security Council resumes its debate on the Golan annexation next month. The U.S. supported a Security Council resolution condemning Israel’s Golan action on December 17.
In another development, Chief of Staff Gen. Rafael Eitan said yesterday that the application of Israeli law to the Golan Heights would make the Druze population there liable to conscription into Israel’s armed forces. But an army spokesman said today that only those Druze who volunteer would be taken into the army. The majority of the 14,000 Druze on the Golan Heights consider themselves to be Syrian citizens and protested the Israeli law.