JERUSALEM (Dec. 4)
Israeli officials expressed outrage and dissappointment over the joint communique issued by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and King Hussein of Jordan in Cairo and Amman yesterday endorsing the Palestine Liberation Organization as a full partner in negotiations to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict that would require Israel to relinquish all territories it captured in 1967 — including East Jerusalem — in exchange for peace.
The formula was the one presented by Hussein when he addressed the Egyptian Parliament Sunday and officials here were saying privately today that Mubarak’s apparent acceptance of it was tantamount to a repudiation by Egypt of the Camp David accords.
Those comments were unofficial. Israel’s formal response to the Mubarak-Hussein communique is expected later today from Foreign Minister and Deputy Premier Yitzhak Shamir when he winds up the Knesset foreign policy debate begun by Premier Shimon Peres yesterday.
Shamir has taken a consistently tougher line than Peres toward Jordan and Egypt. Sources here said however that his official reaction would take account of the mitigating statements made in Cairo by Premier Kamal Hassan Ali to the effect that Egypt continues to adhere to the Camp David accords, as it interprets them. The Israeli and Egyptian interpretations, always at variance, seem to have moved further apart in recent months.
RETREAT FROM CAMP DAVID ACCORDS SEEN
According to analysts here, the Mubarak-Hussein communique marks an Egyptian retreat from Camp David as the sole path to peace in the Middle East and a willingness to consider other, more radical diplomatic approaches.
The Israeli analysts were disturbed most by the communique’s support for the “inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination in the form they see fit” and its reiteration of the Arab League pronouncement, at its Rabat summit meeting in 1974, that the PLO is “the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.”
ELEMENTS IN THE JOINT COMMUNIQUE
In their joint communique, Egypt and Jordan agreed that a “suitable basis” for a peace settlement with Israel was the principles embodied in United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 of November 22, 1967. The resolution called for, among other things, “withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict.”
Egypt and Jordan also agreed on the importance of convening an international peace conference under UN auspices with the two superpowers, U.S. and USSR, in attendance along with other permonent members of the Security Council, and the PLO as an equal partner in the negotiations.
This was specifically called for by Hussein in his Cairo speech Sunday during which the Jordanian ruler fiercely denounced the Camp David process on grounds that it failed to deal with Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Golan Heights and East Jerusalem. According to foreign press reports, the vehemence of Hussein’s attack on Camp David stunned the members of the Egyptian Parliament.
VIEWS OF EGYPTIAN-JORDANIAN RAPPROCHEMENT
Hussein’s speech was followed by three days of talks with Mubarak. It was their first summit meeting since Jordan resumed diplomatic relations with Cairo on September 25 which it broke in 1979 when Egypt signed its peace treaty with Israel.
The rapprochement between Egypt and Jordan was viewed as a positive development in Western circles which saw the coming together of two moderate Arab states as an enhancement of peace prospects in the Middle East. President Reagan expressed such a view only last week, according to a transcript of his interview with The Washington Times, released by the White House.
Israel, too, regarded the resumed ties between Cairo and Amman with cautious optimism. Premier Shimon Peres, more so than his Likud predecessors, has been urging Hussein to enter into talks with Israel with no preconditions.
In his address to the Knesset yesterday, before the joint communique, he promised that any proposals Jordan might put forward in the course of such negotiations “in conditions of equality and mutual respect” would be “seriously” considered by Israel.
Israel, while it accepted Resolution 242 and acknowledged it as the basis of the 1978 Camp David agreements, steadfastly maintains that the Camp David formula is the only viable framework for a Middle East peace settlement.
Israel has flatly rejected an international conference which would inject the Soviet Union directly into the peace process and has made clear that it will, under no circumstances, deal with the PLO which it regards as a terrorist organization.