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Yadin Says Efforts to End Deadlocked Talks Represent a Crucial Stage in the Peace Process

January 16, 1979
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The effort this week to attempt to resolve the “two or three outstanding crucial problems” that have dead locked the peace treaty talks between Israel and Egypt represent a “very crucial stage” in the peace process, Israeli Deputy Premier Yigael Yadin said here this morning of a breakfast meeting with editors at the Regency Hotel. He identified the crucial problems as Egypt’s demands to revise Article IV and Article VI of the draft peace treaty, the issues of review and priority obligations, respectively.

Yadin’s meeting took place against the background of President Carter’s statement yesterday in Atlanta, Ga., that he would “not hesitate” to invite Premier Menachem Begin of Israel and President Anwar Sadat of Egypt to another summit meeting if he thought that was necessary to expedite the Israeli-Egyptian peace talks (See related story P. 3). On Saturday, the Carter Administration announced it was sending a small high level delegation to Israel and Egypt this week to try to unglue the stuck peace talks.

“Irrespective of the different moods in Israel, the government will stick to the letter and spirit of the Camp David accords,” Yadin said. “Israel’s determination is strong. It wants to sign a peace treaty. If the issue of the two Articles and the side letter dealing with autonomy (on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip) can be resolved, there is no reason not to sign the treaty. However, if the Egyptians insist on their demands, their deviations from the Camp David accords, then we face a difficult situation.”


Yadin underlined that it is to the interest of both Egypt and Israel, as well as to the United States “to stick to what was agreed at Camp David.” This is especially so, he said in reply to a question, because of the upheaval in Iran. He observed that this event, “which for the first time cannot be blamed on the Israeli-Arab conflict,” may introduce “for reaching effects, both short-range and long-range, on today issues in the peace talks.”

The immediate effect, following the repeated assertions by Prime Minister Shahpur Bakhtiar of Iron that oil shipments will not be resumed to Israel, will be to strengthen the opposition in Israel which has been balking all along about giving up Israel’s supply of oil in Sinai under a peace treaty with Egypt.

There will be more insistent demands by the opposition, and even by those supporting Israel’s withdrawal from Sinai, that any peace treaty with Egypt must include a clear cut policy regarding assurances of oil supply to Israel, Yadin said. Otherwise, he warred, there may be more voices added to the present opposition for Israel not to sign a peace treaty unless Israel is guaranteed with a supply of oil.

The Deputy Premier also stressed another effect of the upheaval in Iran by noting that “Iran was a clear-cut asset to the United States, and that asset is now lost.” Assets, he said, “should be cherished,” and underscored that “Israel is an asset to the United States and this should be viewed positively.” The issue of oil will be a test of whether the U.S. views Israel as an asset, Yadin said by way of noting that the U.S. is honoring its commitment under the second interim Sinai agreement between Israel and Egypt to assure Israel’s future oil supply.


Yadin, who arrived here yesterday after a brief stop-over in London where he met with British Foreign Secretary David Owen and Conservative Party leader Margaret Thatcher, said he would meet with Secretary of State Cyrus Vance in Washington Jan. 22 Until then his schedule calls for meetings with Jewish leaders in this country, including the United Jewish Appeal and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, to discuss “especially” Project Renewal.

Yadin said he would also meet with “public opinion media” to explain Israel’s position on a whole array of issues. In addition, he will visit Canada to assist Hadassah-WIZO there in their project to establish funds for post doctoral students in Israel’s universities. These funds are necessary, he explained, because budget cutbacks to institutions of higher learning are limiting the number of “new, creative and brilliant” students that can be accepted.


In answer to a question, Yadin said there are no plans for him to meet with President Carter However, regarding the state of U.S. Israel relations, he {SPAN}###{/SPAN} that there was a general feeling a few weeks ago in Israel that Carter was being “counter-productive” when he claimed that Israel was to blame for the stalemate in the peace talks. “We felt that the U.S. was not playing the role of an honest broker” in the peace process by making this claim. “But I believe now that once the peace talks resume, the U.S. will be more objective.”

Yadin noted that the talks between Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan and Egyptian Premier Mustapha Khalil in Brussels over the Christmas weekend in no small measure prompted the Carter Administration to send the delegation to Israel and Egypt.

The Deputy Premier said that the Dayan Khalil talks clarified the differences between the countries and helped to clarify ways in which these differences could be resolved. As a result, the American delegation, Ambassador-at-Large Alfred Atherton, State Department legal advisor Herbert Hansell, and the Department’s Israel Desk officer David Korn are expected to deal in a hopefully more relaxed atmosphere with Article IV and Article VI of the draft treaty.

Yadin said he was “cautiously optimistic” that the basis for resumed peace talks will be set this week and that the talks may actually get going again within the next few weeks. Reaffirming that Israel wants peace and is ready to sign on the dotted line, he paid homage to Begin by noting that “if anyone in Israel can deliver what the Camp David agreements say, it is Begin.”

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