President Says He’s ‘not Sure’ Shamir is Coming to Washington

President Bush appeared to suggest Tuesday that Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir will have, to be even more forthcoming on U.S. proposals for an Israeli-Palestinian dialogue if he wants a White House meeting next week.

Shamir had been expected to meet with Bush on Nov. 15, the day before he addresses the annual General Assembly of the Council of Jewish Federations in Cincinnati.

But when Bush was asked at a White House news conference if he will meet with Shamir, the president responded that he was “not sure” that Shamir is coming to Washington. He added that he “certainly is willing to consider it.”

The Israeli Embassy here has not yet received confirmation from Jerusalem that Shamir is coming to Washington, said Ruth Yaron, the embassy spokeswoman.

Bush did praise Shamir for making a “real effort to work out support” for Secretary of State James Baker’s five-point proposal aimed at an Israeli-Palestinian dialogue in Cairo.

But then the president added a caveat: “I would like to feel that a meeting would be held and then it would be constructive,” he said “We’d have something positive to talk about.”

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