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U.S. Suggesting Ways to Bridge Gap Between Israel and Egypt on the Taba Border Dispute

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The United States has offered suggestions to bridge the gap between Israel and Egypt which has delayed submission of the Taba border dispute to binding arbitration. It is mainly a matter of wording.

The Israeli and Egyptian delegations resumed their discussions here Monday, with the State Department’s top legal advisor, Abraham Sofaer, attending the sessions. He was sent here by Secretary of State George Shultz and arrived in Jerusalem

Sofaer’s proposed formulations were not disclosed. Avraham Tamir, Director General of the Prime Minister’s Office who heads the Israeli team, told reporters that the main dispute focuses on “one word.” Informed sources said the key word is

The problem which has engaged the Israeli and Egyptian negotiators for months is the wording of the questions to be put to the arbitration panel which must decide on which side of the Sinai border the tiny Taba region is located. That hinges on where the

ISSUE OF THE WORD ‘CORRECT’

Israel wants the arbitrators to be asked to ascertain the “correct” position of the

Egypt wants a formulation that would ask for the exact or precise position. Elimination of the word “correct” would strengthen Cairo’s contention that what should be ascertained is where the

The U.S. wants the Taba dispute settled as soon as possible so that Israel and Egypt can proceed with the task of normalizing and improving their bilateral relations. The Israelis are of a like mind, which is why they agreed, reluctantly,

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