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Negotiations to Resolve Taba Dispute Shift to Paris

Israel and Egypt, assisted by the United States, are continuing their efforts to reach a settlement of the Taba border dispute before the case goes to a panel of international legal experts this winter for binding arbitration.

Separate meetings were held here Saturday, Sunday and Monday between the Israelis and Americans, the Egyptians and Americans and later between the Israeli and Egyptian delegations. Their talks shifted to Paris on Tuesday.

Although Israel, at Egypt’s insistence, agreed to binding arbitration last year, the door was left open to conciliation — meaning compromise–which Israel clearly prefers. At stake is ownership of Taba, a small strip of beach on the Red Sea near the Israeli resort city of Eilat.

Meanwhile, both countries are preparing for arbitration. Each has submitted volumes of documents and maps in support of its respective claims. More will be submitted in February. The arbitration panel is scheduled to open its hearings in March and is expected to reach a decision by next July.

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