U.S. Confident Autonomy Talks Disputes Will Soon Be Resolved

The State Department declared today that it was “confident” the disputes which have held up resumption of the autonomy negotiations will be resolved soon.

Department spokesman Dean Fischer said he could not say “when or where” the autonomy talks would be held. But he indicated that the U.S. expected the dispote arising from Israeli Premier Menachem Begin’s insistence that they be held in Jerusalem and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s refusal, will be resolved. (Related story, P.2)

“We are confident that the commitments of support for the Camp David process, as recently expressed at the highest levels by the Israeli and Egyptian governments indicate that any and all procedural matters will be satisfactorily dealt with and that progress in the autonomy talks will go forward,” Fischer said.

At the same time, he would not confirm a report that Richard Fairbanks, the U.S. special Ambassador to the autonomy negotiations, will be going to the Middle East this weekend. Fairbanks has been working on suggestions the U.S. will offer to break the deadlock between Israel and Egypt over various issues in an autonomy agreement.

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