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Begin Urges Syria, Jordan to Reverse Opposition to Plan Raised by Sadat

August 8, 1977
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Premier Menachem Begin urged Syria and Jordan today to reverse their negative reaction to the proposal made by Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, at his meeting in Alexandria with Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, for a working group of Mideast foreign ministers to meet preceding the Geneva conference.

Begin, speaking during a visit to Ramat Hagolan, said there was still time for Syrian President Hafez Assad and Jordan’s King Hussein to change their minds. He added that, if the proposal could not be followed, Israel would agree to bilateral talks, Israel talking with Vance and the Arabs talking with Vance at separate meetings. Begin offered a proposal for such proximity talks during his July visit to Washington.

Begin called the Golan Heights the security belt for Israel’s populated areas and said the Heights were now in good, strong, devoted hands. He was accompanied by Defense Minister Ezer Weizman, Chief of Staff Mordechai Gur, and Gen. Rafael Eytan, commander of the northern front.

Discussing the talks Israeli officials will have with Vance when he arrives here Tuesday, Begin said the talks will cover all subjects bearing on the “main question” as to how and with what to promote “the talks between us and the Arabs” toward a peace settlement. He said there was now agreement between Israel and the United States that the goal was a peace agreement which is essential for Israel and the Arabs.


Earlier the Premier and his entourage visited the good fence at the Lebanese border. He also examined the nearby Lebanese terrain as the deployment of the Lebanese Christians and Palestinian terrorists was explained to him.

Begin said later it was “inconceivable” that Israel would desert the Christian minority in south Lebanon. He said the Israelis, a minority in the region, would do their “utmost” to prevent the “genocide” of the Christians in south Lebanon.

He denied rumors of U.S. pressure on Israel to close down the good fence, as alleged by Major Saad Hadad, commander of the Christian Lebanese in the south. Begin reiterated Israel’s determination to help the south Lebanese Christians to defend themselves, adding that “I told that” to President Carter. He said that the Christian world should also know of the “danger of extermination” he said loomed over the Christians in south Lebanon.

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