JERUSALEM (Jul. 17)
Israel and Egypt have agreed to make a last-ditch effort to settle their border dispute over Taba by compromise.
The international arbitration panel that was scheduled to announce its binding decision on Sept. 1, has agreed, at the request of both countries, to postpone the announcement until the end of September, if no compromise is reached.
The United States has been pressing both sides to accept a compromise and has been working for months toward that end. The only disagreement now is where to hold the negotiations.
The Israelis favor Washington. The Egyptians want to go back to Geneva, where the arbitration panel held its hearings.
Taba is a strip of beach on the Red Sea where Israeli entrepreneurs have built a tourist hotel and vacation village.
The United States apparently believes a mutually acceptable compromise would be better for Israeli-Egyptian relations in the future than a decision by arbitrators upholding one side’s claim.