Shamir: U.s., Israel to Set Up Working Groups to Discuss Early Withdrawal of Troops from Lebanon
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Shamir: U.s., Israel to Set Up Working Groups to Discuss Early Withdrawal of Troops from Lebanon

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Israeli Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir emerged from a four-hour meeting with Secretary of State George Shultz this afternoon and announced that Israel and the U.S. would set up a working group to discuss their proposals for the early withdrawal of all foreign troops from Lebanon.

Shamir, who presented Shultz with proposals drafted by the Israeli Cabinet yesterday, would not reveal any details of the Cabinet’s positions. He declined to discuss a reported two-tier security plan for south Lebanon that the Cabinet was said to have suggested.

Shamir said his talk with Shultz, which lasted two hours longer than had been scheduled, was held in a “spirit of friendly consultation.” He said they were trying to find a common solution to withdrawal and ensuring the security of the Lebanese-Israeli border. Asked if he still believed that the withdrawal of Israeli, Syrian and PLO forces from Lebanon could be accomplished by the end of this year, Shamir replied, “I hope its possible.”

He said he and Shultz also discussed the problems of peace in the Middle East in general but gave no details. Shamir did not mention President Reagan’s Middle East peace proposals.


Earlier this week, Shamir warned that “any path other than the Camp David accords” in approaching a solution to the Mideast crisis “is bound to provoke” a division between Israel and the United States as well as “impassioned divisions” within Israel and among the Jewish people.

In an address Monday to the World Affairs Council in Los Angeles, Shamir reiterated his country’s opposition to Reagan’s Mideast peace proposals, contending that the Camp David accords “contribute the most realistic and promising way to a peaceful solution” of the Mideast conflict.

Shamir declared: “We do not accept the contention that the Camp David accords are dead. For us they are alive, they are viable, and they constitute the only agreement signed together by Israel and an Arab state. They should not be forsaken. New proposals are bound to destroy the existing framework which has been so painstakingly devised.”

Shamir told the Council that Reagan’s proposals deviated from the Camp David accords because they tried to determine the fate of Judaea and Samaria before the five-year autonomy period agreed to by Egypt, Israel and the U.S. The President’s plan ignored this “basic tenet of the Camp David accords,” Shamir said.

He contended that “the effort to reach an autonomy agreement must be resumed within the Camp David accords. At this stage, success is predicated upon the need to refrain from dealing with the permanent status of Judaea, Samaria and Gaza.”

Before coming to Los Angeles, the Foreign Minister met in New York with 250 leaders of national Jewish student organizations and with the heads of youth movements. In addition to denouncing Reagan’s proposals, Shamir stated that the assassination of President Anwar Sadat of Egypt a year ago “was a big blow to the peace process in the Mideast. We miss Sadat.”

He also told the students’ meeting, which was sponsored by the North American Jewish Students’ Network and the University Services Department of the American Zionist Youth Foundation, that he is “in favor of any plan that would oblige Israeli Cabinet ministers to dedicate a day or more and meet with students. It would be very useful.”

David Makovsky, president of Network, commented: “I hope Shamir’s statement marks a bold new attitude on behalf of Israeli leaders to go to college campuses. We have advocated this step for a long time. The college campus is a priority. The war of words and pictures is now being fought on the campus. As students, we are on the front line.”

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