PARIS (Jul. 5)
Egypt’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Butros Ghali, accused Israel of “violating the Camp David agreements and the spirit of the (Egyptian-Israeli peace)treaty” by its actions in Lebanon. In an interview published in LeMonde. Sunday, Ghali hinted that Egypt might take measures against Israel in the future but did not specify what they might be or when they would be applied. He said the Egyptian Parliament has discussed “the possibility of sanctions” against Israel.
The Egyptian diplomat, in Paris for talks with President Francois Mitterrand, said an appeal over the weekend by three prominent Jewish leaders for Israel to lift the siege of west Beirut and open direct negotiations with the Palestine Liberation Organization was “extremely encouraging.” It was made Friday by former French Premier Peirre Mendes-France, Dr. Nahum Goldmarn, former president of the World Jewish Congress and Philip Klutznick, another former WJC president who served as U.S Secretary of Commerce in the Carter Administrations
PLO Chief Yosir Arafat, who is in west Beirut, was also quoted by LeMonde as saying that the Jewish leaders’ call for mutual recognition beween Israel and the PLO “constituted a positive initiative toward a just and lasting peace in the Middle, East.”
Ghali’s reported remarks were the sharpest yet directed to Israel by a ranking Egyptian diplomat. According to the LeMonde interview, he said that Israel’s “aggression against the Palestinian and Lebanese peoples” shows that “it totally ignored the will of the near unanimous family of nations. He said “Our (Egyptian) parliament has discussed at length the possibility of sanctions. Several deputies have demanded that the government break its diplomatic relations with Tel Aviv. Others have asked that our Ambassador be at least recalled.”
In response to these demands, Ghali said, “The (Egyptian) government said that it does not plan such measures for the time being, and I want to stress for the time being. No one can say that such measures will not be applied” at some time in the future.
Ghali said he hoped that the military defeat of the PLO could lead to a political victory and added that the institutions of the PLO must be preserved. He said Mitterrand would be visiting Egypt in November and observed that both France and Egypt are deeply preoccupied with Israel’s move into Lebanon. They were also disturbed, he said, because of the power vacuum created in Washington by the resignation of Secretary of State Alexander Haig.