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Autonomy Talks Resume

September 10, 1979
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The working teams in the autonomy negotiations met today for yet another round of talks at the Herzlia Accadia Hotel. The working group on “modalities” for the elections to the self-administration of the autonomy on the West Bank and Gaza Strip has been locked in differences over Egypt’s demand for the inclusion of East Jerusalem in the West Bank electoral constituencies.

The other working group, tackling the powers of the autonomy, bogged down on the formulation of an agenda, with Egypt demanding that headings refer to self-rule powers and Israel insisting on limiting discussion to the creation of a restricted administrative council.

The Israeli delegation is headed by Dr. Meir Rosenne, Israel’s Ambassador to France, a key figure in the peace negotiations with Egypt and formerly the legal advisor to the Foreign Ministry. The Egyptian team is headed by Ahmad Abdul Latif, an Ambassador at the Foreign Ministry. The Americans are represented by James Leonard, deputy to President Carter’s special Mideast Ambassador Robert Strauss.


Strauss, himself, was due to arrive in Alexandria today to meet with Egyptian leaders to obtain their assessment of last week’s summit meetings in Haifa between Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Premier Menachem Begin. Strauss will reportedly raise two issues, in addition to those already discussed by the Herzlia working groups; security arrangements within the autonomy plan and the situation in south Lebanon, which he regards as an internal part of the entire Mideast issue.

But the overall issue which is believed will be discussed between Leonard and the local negotiators is the difference which emerged out of the Haifa talks: while Sadat and Begin apparently agreed there was no need to rush the autonomy talks, the Americans reportedly believe otherwise.

In an interview on Israel TV last Friday night, Strauss said he had several thoughts in mind to bring the Palestinians to the negotiating table, but he did not specify. In the meantime, sources in Jerusalem said they knew nothing of a reported plan to summon a Carter-Begin-Sadat summit to discuss the Palestinian issue.

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