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Peres, Hussein Have Agreed on West Bank Formula, Says Scholar

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A leading American expert on the Middle East, with close ties to Washington, Jerusalem and the major Arab capitals, said that Jordan’s King Hussein and Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres have agreed to a formula “on mutual territorial accommodation in the West Bank.”

Prof. Howard Sachar, author of the just-published “A History of Israel, Volume II” (Oxford University Press, $19.95), said in a special interview with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency here that he learned of the agreement from “well placed officials” in Washington.

Sachar’s report was similar to recent Israeli press accounts of a secret accord under which Israel and Jordan would exercise joint control in the West Bank and Gaza Strip pending a final peace settlement.

“I believe there is a good chance to reach a peace agreement between Israel and Jordan,” said Sachar, the author of nine books about the Mideast and Israel and a history professor at George Washington University, Washington, D.C.

“Significant contacts between Israeli Labor (Party) leaders and Jordan have been established in the last two years. There have been general meetings of the minds in the course of these contacts,” Sachar said. Hussein, Sachar maintained, has consented to de facto bilateral negotiations with Israel “under the nominal framework of an international conference.”

Hussein also agreed, Sachar said, not to include “identified members of the Palestine Liberation Organization” in his delegation to the international conference.

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