WASHINGTON (Apr. 14)
President Reagan today rejected the contention that Israel might not withdraw from Sinai as scheduled on April 25.
Answering reporters’ questions during anine-minute press conference in the White House Rose Garden, Reagan said he has a “pledge” from Premier Menachem Begin “that the turnover is going to occur and that they’re going forward with the Camp David–in the framework of the Camp David talks.”
He noted that Deputy Secretary of State Walter Stoessel Jr. is now in Israel “talking to them about various problems.” Reagan said he is “going to have confidence” in the promise made to him by Begin. Later, White House Deputy Press Secretary Larry Speakes said that Begin had given Reagan his “personal assurance” that Israel will withdraw from Sinai as scheduled, when they met at the White House last September.
A ‘TRAGIC AFFAIR’
During the brief press conference, Reagan was also asked what he would do to “stop the bloodshed” on the West Bank and Gaza Strip which erupted Sunday after an American-bom Israeli opened fire into crowds of Moslem worshippers on the Temple Mount in East Jerusalem, killing two and wounding 12 people. Reagan called both the shooting and the subsequent violence a “tragedy.”
“This is a tragic affair,” Reagan said. “Obviously the individual who perpetroted that horrible deed at the Temple is deranged and now for this to lead to the great unrest, yes, it’s a great tragedy.”