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Peres to Present His Plans for Mideast Peace Conference Before He Goes to Washington Next Month

April 30, 1987
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Aides to Foreign Minister Shimon Peres said Wednesday that he intends to present his plans for an international conference for Middle East peace to the full Cabinet before he goes to Washington in the middle of next month.

Sources at Peres’ office said the plan has already won the approval of the U.S., Jordan and Egypt. Army Radio reported Wednesday that the understanding Peres reportedly reached with King Hussein of Jordan will be appended in the form of two secret documents to the basic peace conference draft.

Peres summoned Labor Ministers of the Inner Cabinet to a meeting Wednesday to outline his diplomatic plan. They were Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin, Education Minister Yitzhak Navon, Police Minister Haim Barlev and Minister-Without-Portfolio Ezer Weizman. Also present were Uzi Baram, Secretary General of the Labor Party, and MK Abba Eban, chairman of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Security Committee.

Political observers noted particularly Rabin’s apparent support for Peres’ initiative. Rabin, one of the more hawkish Laborites and a long-time rival of Peres for party leadership, has often expressed skepticism over an international conference. For the time being, he seems to be standing behind Peres, the observers said.

Premier Yitzhak Shamir, the Likud leader who is unalterably opposed to an international conference, is due back from his visit to France Thursday. Likud and Labor may have their ultimate confrontation on the peace issue which most pundits expect will bring down the unity coalition government and precipitate early election.

Peres spoke of new elections Wednesday as if they were a foregone conclusion. He said he hoped for a brief campaign — three weeks instead of three months.

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