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Shamir Knew Peres Was Morocco-bound

Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir said Monday he knew in advance of Premier Shimon Peres’ trip to Morocco for talks with King Hassan believed related to the Middle East peace process but declined to say whether he gave Peres his blessings. But President Chaim Herzog did.

The Likud leader said on a radio interview that if the trip resulted in anything acceptable to the Cabinet and Inner Cabinet, he would continue that policy after he takes office as Prime Minister next October under the Labor-Likud rotation of power agreement.

However, Shamir stressed that he would oppose any territorial concessions in the West Bank in exchange for an agreement with Jordan, if that was the outcome of Peres’ talks with Hassan. He indicated that the Cabinet as a whole had not been informed in advance of Peres’ trip, adding that it was up to the Premier to decide which senior ministers to inform.

HERZOG WELCOMES PERES’ MISSION

Herzog welcomed Peres’ mission. He said it indicated the extent to which the Arab states now accept the fact of direct talks with Israel as the way to achieve peace in the Middle East. He too knew in advance of Peres’ plans.

“On the eve of his visit, the Prime Minister reported to me that all the arrangements had been concluded, and I gave him my blessing and best wishes for the trip,” Herzog said. “I regard his open and publicized visit as of first rate importance.”

Israel Radio reported late Tuesday that it learned Peres’ talks with Hassan are proceeding as planned and that the Premier is due home Wednesday.

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