JERUSALEM (Jan. 6)
The governments of Israel and Lebanon will be considering new proposals this weekend put forward by the U.S. to solve the procedural problems in the talks between the three countries. Israel Army Radio reported from Kiryat Shmona, where the three sides met today in their fourth session, that U.S. envoy Morris Draper had put forward “new ideas” and both delegations had consulted by telephone with their leaders in their respective capitals.
The army radio said the two delegation heads, David Kimche of Israel and Antoine Fatale of Lebanon, had seemed favorably inclined to the new American ideas — but both are subject to instructions from their home governments. The U.S. ideas are reportedly on the vexed issue of a normalization provision for the talk’s agenda.
Earlier in the day, the Israel delegation spokesman Avi Pazner had sought to discount media reports of deadlock and stalemate, noting that the talks were in their very early stages and initial problems were bound to arise.
Today’s round included an opening plenary session followed by an informal meeting between the three delegation heads. Once again reporters allowed in briefly were impressed by the obviously relaxed and friendly atmosphere that seemed to pervade the conference chamber, in a Kiryat Shmona community center.