JERUSALEM (May. 11)
The Inner Cabinet met behind closed doors Monday to debate Foreign Minister Shimon Peres’ proposals for an international conference for Middle East peace and a counter-plan by Premier Yitzhak Shamir based on the Camp David accords.
The outcome is likely to determine the fate of the Labor-Likud unity coalition government. No word of the deliberations emerged from the Inner Cabinet which comprises five Labor and five Likud Ministers. Peres told reporters before the meeting that he had no deadline for a decision but hoped the debate would not be drawn out.
MEETING SPARSELY ATTENDED
While the Ministers were closeted in their session, Labor and Likud fought the issue in the Knesset, which was in the first day of its summer session. Mutual recriminations were hurled by those members present. But the session was so sparsely attended that acting Speaker Meir Cohen-Avidov of Likud adjourned it early in the day.
Meanwhile, Leo Tindemans of Belgium, the current President of the Council of Ministers of the European Economic Community (EEC) who is visiting Jerusalem, sought to influence Israeli opinion in favor of an international conference.
Tindemans told reporters that both Egypt and Saudi Arabia envisaged a joint Jordanian-Palestinian negotiating team at an international forum. He noted that officials in both those countries which he has just visited had not insisted specifically that the Palestine Liberation Organization must represent the Palestinians.
In fact, the Saudis explicitly endorsed the condition Jordan imposed on the PLO — renunciation of violence and acceptance of United Nations Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 by the PLO.