Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Hassan Skirts Issue of Carter’s Reported Commitments to Sadat

November 16, 1978
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

King Hassan of Morocco and a White House spokesman both skirted discussion today of President Carter’s reported commitments to Egyptian President Anwar Sadat that Jerusalem will be returned to Arab sovereignty and the West Bank will achieve independence. Hassan had said in Rabat before leaving for Washington that Sadat had told him of Carter’s commitments to him on Jerusalem and a Palestinian state.

When asked about those alleged commitments in his appearance at the National Press Club today following two days of private and formal talks with Carter, Hassan said they were stumbling blocks and he would not “prejudge” them.

At the White House, Associate White House Press Secretary Jerrold Schecter said the President’s reported commitments “did not come up” in the scheduled talks with Hassan but he noted in the same context that after last night’s state dinner the two leaders met alone for a half hour in Carter’s residence.

At the Press Club, Hassan said he continues to support Sadat and urged other Arab governments to have patience and see if the Camp David accords will work. However, he also said that the framework on the West Bank and Gaza will not succeed unless Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the Palestinian Arabs are involved.

He indicated that a threatened boycott by Arab states against Egypt will not succeed because it is impossible for the Arab world to live in peace without Egypt. He described the boycott as “an intellectual position, not an effective position.” Morocco is alone among the Arab states in backing Egypt on its negotiations with Israel.


Meanwhile, Washington awaited the results of a meeting tomorrow at the White House between Egyptian Vice President Hosni Mubarak and Carter. Mubarak, who is arriving late today, is bringing a message from Sadat on the issues that separate Israel and Egypt from concluding a treaty. He is expected to confer with top U.S. officials for several days before returning to Cairo.

Yesterday, the President and Secretary of State Cyrus Vance summoned Israeli Defense Minister Ezer Weizman to the White House for an hour’s conversation. The Blair House conference spokesman, George Sherman of the State Department, said that the meeting was to review the negotiations and outstanding problems in the peace talks. But he was unable to explain why Israel’s view was being scrutinized by Carter and not Egypt’s as well.

Recommended from JTA