Israel Now in Favor of E.c. Role in Arms Control Talks, Says Peres

Israel no longer objects to European participation in the multilateral peace talks on arms control.

Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, on a visit to Britain, said the 2-month-old Israel government had lifted the veto imposed by the former Likud administration on Europe’s taking part in the discussions. The curbs, imposed by the Likud out of lack of confidence in Europe’s policies, had cast a long shadow on Israeli-European relations.

Peres was to meet in London with British Prime Minister John Major and Foreign Minister Douglas Hurd. The next stop for Israel’s foreign minister is France, where he is scheduled to meet with President Francois Mitterrand, an old friend.

Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin is also due for a high-level visit abroad. He is scheduled to travel next week to Bonn for meetings with Chancellor Helmut Kohl and other German leaders.

The prime minister is expected to discuss Israel’s request for loan guarantees from Germany, following President Bush’s agreement to provide guarantees for up to $10 billion in loans to aid immigrant absorption.

News reports in Germany said secret talks have been taking place on Israel’s request for 10 billion marks ($7 billion) in credit and financial assistance. They said the German side had already committed itself to 2 billion marks ($1.4 billion) in aid.

The Germany Foreign Ministry was quick to deny the report.

Another diplomatic trip is to take place Friday, when Deputy Foreign Minister Yossi Beilin travels to Cairo to discuss the peace process with Egyptian leaders. Beilin is to meet with Foreign Minister Amre Moussa and presidential adviser Osama el-Baz.

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