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Peres Warns Against ‘negativism’ in Israel’s Response to U.S. Initiative

June 6, 1985
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Premier Shimon Peres admitted today that he is concerned over some aspects of the Reagan Administration’s approach to Middle East peace negotiations involving the Palestinians. But he warned that Israel must avoid the image of “instinctive negativism” in response to the current American initiative.

Addressing the Labor Party’s Knesset faction, Peres said he was disturbed by Washington’s readiness to meet with a joint Jordanian-Palestinian delegation that would include members of the Palestine National Council (PNC) because it could be the first step toward eventual U.S. recognition of the Palestine Liberation Organization. Israel regards the PNC as part of the PLO.

However, while conceding a “drawing together” of the American and Jordanian positions on the Palestinian component of a negotiating team, Peres stressed that the U.S. still solidly opposed an international peace conference as the forum for negotiations proposed by King Hussein of Jordan. Peres said Washington is seeking an alternative international framework, possibly involving the West European nations, to provide the multinational “umbrella” Hussein says he needs to cover a peace dialogue with Israel.


Israel’s position must be a readiness to negotiate without preconditions, Peres told his party colleagues. He barred talks under any circumstances, with the PLO but on the other hand, Israel, he stressed, could not insist prior to negotiations that they be conducted within the framework of the 1978 Camp David accords.

He was referring to the long standing position of Likud, Labor’s partner in the unity coalition government, that Camp David has to be the sole basis for advancing the Middle East peace process. Peres noted that the Labor Party never accepted that view. He observed that since Jordan was not a party to the Camp David accords, it is not possible to demand that Hussein subscribe to them as the exclusive basis for new negotiations.

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