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Burg Predicts Jordan May Soon Join the Peace Talks

September 4, 1979
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Interior Minister Yosef Burg predicted yesterday that Jordan may join the peace talks within the next several months. “I expect that in the next few months Jordan will change its views and will join the deliberations.” he told the visiting members of the Council of Europe’s Political Subcommittee for Mideast Affairs.

Burg gave no basis for his belief, but in an interview in Moariv today he said he has “a corner” on certain information but “I will kill the matter if I publicize it. I do not want to born the source to that information.

The Interior Minister suggested that King Hussein might change his opposition to joining the peace talks because Hussein, like other Mideast Kings and Persian Gulf Sheikhs, was concerned by the rise of Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini in Iran and the Palestine Liberation Organization.

Burg ruled out any talks with the PLO. “If the PLO would say they accept (United Nations Security Council Resolution) 242, I would not believe them as long as they do not renounce the Palestinian covenant.” He said he would only believe a “new era” has come if there were several years without any terrorism.


Burg said he opposed any autonomy for Palestinians on the West Bank and Gaza strip “that would lead to sovereignty.” He said such a situation would cause “too much dynamism in the region’s global policy and would be explosive.” But he said he will meet with Arab leaders in the territories during the next few days to see whether they will join the autonomy talks.

The Interior Minister’s comments on Jordan coincided with an interview by the Arabic-language newspaper, Al-Anba, with Hebron Mayor Fahed Kawassme who praised Jordan for its help to the Palestinians. “Despite our desire to establish a Palestinian state, we do not want to detach our selves from Jordan,” he said in the interview which will be published later this week.

The European delegation also met today with foreign Minister Moshe Dayan for a “private” luncheon, where they reportedly voiced their concern to him over the increased isolation of Israel among European nations. This, they contended, has been generated in part due to the growing ties between the PLO and the European states.

Meanwhile, Israel Radio reported tonight that Dayan met this evening with a prominent West Bank personality, Dr. Ahmed Hamaz Natcha a local Communist leader, in the Military Government headquarters in Hebron. Following the meeting, Jewish residents of Kiryat Arba assembled outside the headquarters building to protest the meeting. Last week Dayan was under fire for meeting with on outspoken pro PLO Gaza leader, Dr. Haider Abdul-Shafi. Dayan said at that time that he will continue to meet periodically with west Bank and Gaza Strip Palestinians of various political persuasions.

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