JERUSALEM (Feb. 28)
U. S. Special Ambassador Philip Habib met with Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir this morning to discuss the latest proposals for an agreement with Lebanon. Israeli source said some of the ideas Habib brought with him from Beirut were “acceptable for further consideration.” But they discouraged speculation that an agreement was near.
Media reports from Beirut over the weekend said an accord was within sight but Israeli sources were non committal on reports that an agreement could be wrap ped up by the end of this month. They stressed that much work remained to be done and that key issues are unresolved.
The proposals conveyed to Shamir by Habib today will be taken up at the weekly session of the ministerial steering committee on the Lebanese negotiation Shamir is reported to have reiterated to Habib Israel’s demand that it retain surveillance forces in south Lebanon after the bulk of its army and all other foreign forces have left the country. The Beirut government insists that there be no residual Israeli military presence on its soil.
Shamir has also reported to have pressed Habib for commitment by Syria and the Palestine Liberation Organization to remove their forces from Lebanon. Habib was said to have replied that the Lebanese government told him the PLO and Syrians have agreed in principle to pull out. Habib is expected to remain here several days for further discussions with Israeli officials.