PARIS (Sep. 25)
If the Labor Party wins Israel’s elections Nov. 1, it will initiate peace talks and then hold a referendum on any peace agreement that emerges, Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, the party leader, said here Friday.
He did not specify with whom Israel would negotiate. He stressed, however, that Jordan still has an important part to play in the peace process, despite King Hussein’s recent renunciation of any leadership role on behalf of the Palestinians in the West Bank.
Peres spoke to reporters after meetings with President Francois Mitterrand and Premier Michel Rocard.
He said Labor’s election campaign is based on peace in exchange for territorial concessions. “Israel should leave the Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank within the framework of a comprehensive peace settlement,” he said.
He made much the same point in an interview published in Le Monde on Thursday, a day before his arrival.
“The movement I am representing is ready for a historic compromise that would also include a territorial element to solve the Palestinian problem,” Peres told the French daily.
But “the time has come for the Arabs and the Palestinians to publicly and clearly state the contribution they are ready to make for peace with Israel,” Peres stated.
CAMP DAVID-STYLE TALKS
The Israeli foreign minister was here on a private visit. He flew late Sunday to New York, where he is due to meet Monday with President Reagan and the Egyptian foreign minister, Ismat Abdel Meguid.
Peres told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency the meeting would be a direct continuation of the 1978 Camp David talks.
According to Israeli sources here, the session was arranged by Reagan to establish binding guidelines for the next American administration and to help strengthen Israeli-Egyptian ties, which have been badly strained because of the 9-month-old Palestinian uprising.
Peres is to meet Reagan on Monday at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. He will be accompanied by Moshe Arad, Israel’s ambassador to the United States; his diplomatic adviser, Nimrod Novik; and his press adviser, Uri Savir.
Because of the Sukkot holiday, the Israeli delegation will walk to the meeting and will not take written notes.
Peres is scheduled to address the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday.