JERUSALEM (Jan. 16)
A summit meeting between Premier Shimon Peres and President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt will not take place before March, Haaretz reported today. The newspaper said Egypt informed Israel that a summit would have to await clear definition of the principles that will govern the arbitration process in the Taba border dispute.
The Inner Cabinet agreed in principle this week to submit the dispute to arbitration, as demanded by Egypt, subject to certain conditions. According to Haaretz, Egypt insists the date must be set for the beginning of the arbitration process before a date is set for a summit meeting.
But senior officials in Cairo have noted that the Cabinet decision served as a good basis for improved relations between Israel and Egypt, Haaretz reported.
Possibly as a result of that decision, Egypt is expected to convey to the Israeli Ambassador in Cairo the report of the inquiry committee set up to investigate the massacre of Israel tourists at Ras Burka in Sinai last October. Mubarak had contended earlier that Israel was not entitled to receive the report. He made that statement to the Cairo weekly Al-Mussawar in the course of an interview before the Israeli decision on Taba.
Mubarak sent a message to Peres last week explaining that Egyptian law required two weeks between the verdict in a trial and publication of the relevant findings. This Saturday will mark two weeks since an Egyptian soldier, Suleiman Khatar, was convicted of murdering the Israelis and sentenced to life imprisonment. A week after the verdict, Khatar was found hanged in his room at a military hospital, an apparent suicide.