Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Habib Returning to Mideast Early Next Week; Sadat and Begin. or Successor. Invited Separately to Was

June 5, 1981
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Philip Habib, President Reagan’s special envoy to the Middle East, leaves Washington tomorrow to return to the area, the State Department announced today.

David Passage, a Department spokesman, said Habib will first go to Europe and will arrive in the Middle East early next week. He said Habib has no fixed itinerary and where he will go will be announced on a daily basis.

Meanwhile, the White House announced today that President Anwar Sadat of Egypt has accepted an invitation from President Reagan to visit Washington August 5-6 and that Premier Menachem Begin of Israel agreed to come September 9-10, assuming he is still in office. White House spokesman Larry Speakes said the invitation to Begin would apply to his successor if Begin’s Likud party is defeated in the June 30 Knesset elections.

Habib was sent to the area by the President in an attempt to prevent fighting from breaking out between Israel and Syria over the placing of Syrian SAM-6 anti-aircraft missiles in Lebanon. He returned after three weeks in the Mideast and visits to Beirut, Damascus, and Jerusalem with a side trip to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

On his return to Washington last week, Habib reported to Reagan and Secretary of State Alexander Haig, and has met with Congressional leaders and representatives of the parties involved.

While saying he did not know where Habib would be going, Passage said it could be safely assumed he will be visiting the four capitals he visited on his first journey to the Mideast. “We still believe none of the parties want war and we are hopeful a way can be found to settle the crisis peacefully,” Passage said.

Recommended from JTA