Foreign Ministry officials said today that there was no foundation to Egyptian newspaper reports that Israel has agreed to withdraw from the entire Sinai peninsula. The reports claimed that Foreign Minister Abba Eben had made such a statement to Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger during their talks in Washington last week. The officials said that Eben made no promises in Washington and denied that the government had discussed additional Israeli withdrawals in Sinai.
Observers here interpreted the reports as an attempt by Cairo to convince Syria to be more flexible in reaching a disengagement accord with Israel. According to the observers, Egypt is trying to convince Syria that Israel is prepared to make far-reaching concessions if Syria will enter disengagement talks.
MOVE TO PRECLUDE RETURN OF KUNEITRA
Settlers in the Gold Heights, meanwhile, have taken steps to create “facts” that would preclude the eventual return to Syria of Kuneitra, the largest town on the Golan Heights which Israel captured in the 1967 Six-Day War. The Golan settlers have established a “Kuneitra Development Fund” intended to carry out projects in the town and its environs.
These include the construction of new housing and the cultivation of agricultural lands. Kuneitra has been uninhabited since the 1967 war. It was captured briefly by Syrian forces in the early days of the Yom Kippur War but they were ousted and Kuneitra remains a ghost town. Sources here also denied a NY Times report that negotiations were under way between Israel and Jordan.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.