Menu JTA Search

Stoessel: U.S. to Renew Efforts to Get Egypt and Israel Together for Negotiations on Autonomy

United States Deputy Secretary of State Walter Stoessel said here today that the U.S. has made concrete suggestions to Egypt and Israel and that he hoped the tripartite negotiations on Palestinian autonomy will soon resume. He said “We will renew our efforts to bring the two sides together as soon as possible.”

Stoessel also stressed that Washington “has no preconceived ideas” on the autonomy talks but it will do all it can to get them started again. Speaking at a press briefing he said “The outcome of the (autonomy) talks remains open” and both sides will have the best of opportunities to make their views known.

He said he did “not exclude” the possible participation of “responsible Palestinians” but refused to say whether they will come from the Israeli administered territories or from abroad. “Only time will tell what this representation will be. We hope, however, that responsible represen- tation can be found to enable the autonomy process to be fulfilled.”

Referring to Syria, the American diplomat said “We do not feel of the present time, that it can be a positive factor in promoting a solution to the problems of the area.” Stoessel conferred in Paris with French officials with whom he reportedly discussed the Middle East situation. He also briefed them, French officials said, on his recent meeting with Israeli and Egyptian leaders.

Another American visitor who discussed the Middle East with President Francois Mitterrand today was former President Jimmy Carter, here on a private visit. According to official sources, the current situation in the Middle East and the implementation of the Camp David agreements were among the main subjects under review.

Later, in a radio broadcast. Carter said the Camp David agreement “still is a good formula.” He stressed that “what we need is a very strong mediator to bring the two parties (Israel and Egypt) together. I hope (Secretary of State Alexander) Haig or some other strong leader will take up this role.”

NEXT STORY