NEW YORK (Oct. 7)
Israeli Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir said today that he expects to have “tough’ negotiations on “many important issues” when he meets next week in Washington with Administration officials.
He said the main topic of discussion in his meetings with Administration officials will be the situation in Lebanon and the arrangements and timetable concerning the withdrawal of Israeli and other foreign forces from Lebanon.
Asked by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency if he plans to meet with President Reagan, the Israeli minister replied “I did not request a meeting with the President.”
Summing up his 10-day diplomatic visit in New York where he addressed the UN General Assembly on September 30, Shamir said he met here with about 30 Foreign Ministers. “Some of the meetings were not publicized,” he disclosed, “at the requests of the Foreign Ministers.”
He said that in his meetings he was surprised to find “a better atmosphere” from the one he had expected. “It has become evident to me that a lot of the criticism toward Israel (because of the Lebanese crisis) has subsided,” Shamir said. He asserted that a great deal of the anti-Israeli criticism was based on “unreliable media reports.” He said that when he confronted the diplomats with the facts many of them were “somewhat defensive” and said part of their information was based on reports in the Israeli press or Israelis writing abroad. “There are elements in Israel who do not consider the interests of Israel when they criticize Israel abroad,” Shamir said in his briefing, contending that no other nation is criticized abroad by its own citizens as is Israel.
Asked about a report yesterday by columnist Jack Anderson that he is the major advocate in the Israeli government to favor renewed ties with the Soviet Union, Shamir said Israel is interested in having ties with all countries, including the Soviet Union. He pointed out, however, that the Soviets broke these relations with Israel during the Six-Day War and since they initiated the break they are the ones to restore the ties between the two countries.