Last-minute Snags Might Delay Peres-mubarak Summit
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Last-minute Snags Might Delay Peres-mubarak Summit

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The summit meeting between Premier Shimon Peres and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, which was expected to take place in Alexandria September 10 and 11, might be postponed.

Peres told journalists at a Foreign Press Association meeting here Wednesday that some last-minute snags in an arbitration agreement on the Taba border dispute between Israel and Egypt were holding up summit arrangements.

The problems are understood to be Egyptian demands for changes concerning the positions of the last four border posts out of the 14 positions which were in dispute. Peres referred to this as “polygon problems, if you know what they are.”

His reference was apparently to the shape of the markers placed on the ground by Egypt and Israel, for aerial photography by an American team, for consideration by the arbitrators when they begin their deliberations on the border dispute.


Meanwhile, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Richard Murphy has been shuttling between Jerusalem, Cairo and Amman in what Peres said was an effort to explore prospects for a joint peace declaration from Egypt, Israel and Jordan. Western diplomats here have said that the United States hopes to persuade King Hussein of Jordan to endorse ideas that could form the basis of a joint statement at the Peres-Mubarak summit.

Peres told the journalists’ meeting that the greatest obstacle for Jordan in the peace talks was determining which Palestinians should participate in a joint Jordanian-Palestinian delegation. Both Israel and Jordan agreed that an international forum would accompany any direct negotiations, but that the forum would have no power to impose solutions on the Israel-Arab conflict.

The Premier described the summit meeting as trying to “formulate strategy for the next two or three years.”


Asked about suggestions by Minister-Without-Portfolio Ezer Weizman and other colleagues that Israel should agree to talk to the PLO if they agreed to accept UN Security Council Resolution 242, Peres said that Hussein has tried to talk to PLO chairman Yasir Arafat and the PLO “and has found that that is impossible — it was a vain effort and produced no results.”

He added: “The PLO is not a negotiating partner, it is a shooting partner. Hussein found it was impossible to negotiate with Arafat or the PLO — they keep changing their minds, they don’t remain true to their words, and their main interest is to keep their organization together rather than to move ahead in the direction of peace.”

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