WASHINGTON (Sep. 8)
The White House denied Thursday that President Reagan’s offer to meet in New York later this month with Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and his Egyptian counterpart, Ismat Abdel Meguid, was an attempt to boost Peres in Israel’s current Knesset election campaign.
“This meeting is a natural follow-up to the extensive peace efforts” that Secretary of State George Shultz has undertaken in the Middle East in the last several months, White House spokesman Marlin Fitzwater said.
He said that Reagan has asked the two foreign ministers to meet with him after the president addresses the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 26.
Fitzwater said that the invitations to Peres and Meguid were sent to them as heads of their country’s delegations to the General Assembly meeting. Reagan also plans to meet in New York with other foreign leaders attending the General Assembly session. If Premier Yitzhak Shamir or any other Israeli official were heading the delegation, he would have been invited, the spokesman added.