Shamir and Carrington Have ‘sharp Exchanges’ over Broad Range of Middle East Issues
Menu JTA Search

Shamir and Carrington Have ‘sharp Exchanges’ over Broad Range of Middle East Issues

Download PDF for this date

“Sharp exchanges” took place today in conversations between Israeli Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir and British Foreign Secretary Lord Carrington, sources here said.

The two men met at a Manhattan hotel, and while their talk was described as “polite,” Shamir was reported to have expressed Israel’s displeasure over Carrington’s anti- Israel statements, his talks with leaders of the Palestine Liberation Organization and his support, in a most extreme manner, of what is known as the European initiative to bring the PLO into the negotiations for a Middle East settlement.

Shamir, reportedly, expressed particular dissatisfaction with recent statements by Carrington calling on the U.S. to apply pressure on Israel. Shamir asked the British diplomat how he would feel had Israel called on the U.S. to pressure Britain on the Irish question. During the conversation, Carrington reportedly expressed the wish to visit Israel and while Shamir said he would be welcome, he did not extend an official invitation.


Carrington has emerged as the most outspoken supporter of the PLO in the European Economic Community (EEC) and has called repeatedly for negotiations with the PLO as part of the Mideast peace process. He was said to have repeated that call in his talk with Shamir today and to have said that although he supports the Camp David process, as it stands it is not enough to reach a final settlement in the Middle East.

In his address to the UN General Assembly today, Carrington stated that in the view of his government “A comprehensive settlement can only be negotiated if all parties concerned, including the Palestinian people and the PLO which will have to be associated with negotiations, accept the principles which we set out in the Venice declaration and play their full part.” The Venice declaration in June, 1980, was the EEC’s statement of principles on the Middle East.

Carrington also told the General Assembly that “the starting point” toward a just peace in the Middle East “must be the independence and security of all states in the area, including Israel, and the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, including the right to self-determination.”

Carrington was one of three European Foreign Ministers with whom Shamir met today. The others were West Germany’s Foreign Minister Hans-Diet-rich Genscher and the newly appointed Foreign Minister of Holland M. van der Stoel.

According to sources here, Shamir’s talks with the German and Dutch Ministers were held in a much more cordial atmosphere than his encounter with Britain’s Foreign Secretary. Genscher was invited to visit Israel and is scheduled to go there next spring.


The crux of the Shamir-Genscher talk was the international situation and the role of Saudi Arabia in the Middle East. The Saudi image in the West is one of moderation. But Israel’s view, as expressed by Shamir, is that the Saudis play a negative role, at least as far as the Arab-Israeli conflict is concerned.

A friendly atmosphere also prevailed at Shamir’s meeting with Van der Stoel who took office only ten days ago. The Dutch diplomat noted with satisfaction the improved relations between Israel and the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) which includes Dutch troops.

It was reported, meanwhile, that Shamir had a meeting last night with the Foreign Minister of Argentina, Oscar Cammilion, who extended an official invitation to President Yitzhak Navon of Israel to visit his country. He and Shamir reportedly discussed mutual cooperation between Israel and Argentina in various areas. Cammilion was said to have acknowledged that the problem of anti-Semitism exists in Argentina and said his government is trying to fight it.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund