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Begin’s Letter to Sadat Made Public

August 12, 1980
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Israel today released the official text of the letter Premier Menachem Begin sent last week to Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in response to the Egyptian leader’s letter to Begin asking for “clarifications” which would enable the autonomy talk to resume. The letter, part of which was previously leaked to the press, blames Cairo for the failure to resume the autonomy negotiations and blames Egypt for violating the Camp David accords.

Begin, in his letter, pointed to Egypt’s vote in the United Nations July 29 for a resolution demanding that Israel withdraw from all territories it has occupied since June, 1967, Including Jerusalem and that this start by Nov. 15, 1980. “Where is this, Mister President, written in the Camp David agreement?” Begin asked.

In reply to Egypt’s reported support for Palestinian self-determination and an independent Palestinian state, Begin again noted that none of this was mentioned in the accords. As for Israeli settlements in Judaea and Samaria and the Galan Heights, he said, they are legal and legitimate and an integral part of Israel’s security. None of them will ever be removed. Begin stated.

Begin attacked Butros Ghali, Egyptian Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, for pressuring African countries not to renew their diplomatic relations with Israel. This was an act of hostility Begin noted, as was the personal attack in the Egyptian news media comparing Begin to Adolf Hitler.

On the sensitive question of Jerusalem, Begin wrote: “I have never misled you nor any- body else. Time and again I repeatedly said that Jerusalem in its entirety is the capital of Israel, a city reunited and indivisible for generations.”

Begin concluded his 14-page letter by noting that Sadat has already suspended the autonomy talks four times. He called on Sadat to refrain from any further suspensions. “Let us renew the negotiations despite of differences of opinion,” Begin declared. Meanwhile, according to reports from Cairo today, Sadat was working on a new letter of response and the indication was that the talks will not be resumed soon.

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