WASHINGTON (Jan. 6)
Israeli negotiators arrived here Monday to resume the bilateral peace talks with the Arabs that recessed three weeks ago.
But in a reversal of the scenario that took place last month, their Arab negotiating partners stayed home.
Elyakim Rubinstein, head of the Israeli negotiating team for the talks with the Jordanian-Palestinian delegation, said upon arrival that when the first round of talks in Washington broke up Dec. 18, the Arabs had agreed to return Jan. 7.
“We came to resume the negotiations,” Rubinstein told reporters. He said he hoped the Arabs would do so, as well.
But the Palestinians, along with the Jordanians, Syrians and Lebanese, have not left yet for Washington, in protest of Israel’s plan to deport 12 Palestinian activists.
In December, it was the Israelis who showed up for the talks five days late because of objection to the negotiations being held in Washington.
The Arabs were expected to come to Washington to resume negotiations following the U.N. Security Council’s adoption Monday evening of a resolution condemning the deportation order.
The U.S. assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern and South Asian affairs, Edward Djerejian, met Monday with the Israeli negotiators.
Djerejian also met with Dr. Haider Abdel-Shafi, head of the Palestinian delegation. Abdel-Shafi stayed in the United States after the first round of talks recessed. But his presence here does not mean that the rest of the Palestinian delegation will return here.
Boucher said the State Department was reviewing whether to grant a visa to Nabil Shaath, an adviser to the Palestine Liberation Organization’s foreign affairs committee.
Shaath was refused a visa in December, although some other members of an “advisory committee” to the Palestinian delegation were allowed to enter the United States. But none of the advisers was allowed to accompany the delegation to the State Department, where the talks were held.