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Begin: Resumption of Autonomy Talks is Precondition for Summit Meeting

September 8, 1980
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Premier Menachem Begin briefed the Cabinet today on the negotiations to resume the autonomy talks with Egypt He stressed that Israel assumption of the talks to be a precondition for a summit meeting between himself, President Anwar Sodat and President Canet which, according to Begin, probably will take place in December.

(U.S. special envoy Sol Linowitz, who just returned from the Middle East, told a press conference in Washington yesterday that the U.S. has presented Israel and Egypt with its own comprehensive proposals for discussion when the autonomy talks resume. He declined to give details of the American plan but said it covered all outstanding differences between Egypt and Israel except the issue of Jerusalem. The main areas, Linewitz said, were land title, water rights, settlements and security in the autonomous areas. He implied that Jerusalem would be discussed at the summit.)

Begin told the Cabinet that Israel agreed to a summit meeting only after it was assured in the joint communique issued when Linowitz left the region that the autonomy negotiations would be resumed speedily on all levels. The talks were broken off by Egypt last May.


The consensus in the Cabinet was that Egypt has softened its stand on the autonomy negotiations and desired to clear the strained atmosphere that has existed between Cairo and Jerusalem since the talks were suspended.

One indicator of the new Egyptian mood was seen in an article published today by the Egyptian journalist Anis Mansour, a close associate of Sodat, in the weekly magazine, October. Mansour urged his fellow journalists to desist from comparing Begin to Hitler because it “ignored Jewish sensitivity to the Holocaust.” Mansour was apparently referring to cartoons appearing in the Egyptian press recently likening Begin to Hitler.

It was also reported in October that former premier Yitzhak Racin, a leader of the opposition Labor Party, will visit Cairo next week to meet with Sadat. The Egyptian leader met last week with former Defense Minister Ezer Weizman who was vacationing in Egypt.

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