In Jerusalem, the leader of the opposition Labour Party and a government spokesman has commented on the recent developments in the search for a peace treaty with Egypt.
SV Ex Prime Minister Yitzach Rabin arriving
SV Prime Minister Menachem Begin arriving
SV interview with Labour leader Shimon Peres (TWO SHOTS)
SV ZOOM INTO interview with Chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee Chairman, Moshe Arrens
REPORTER: "How do you see the negotiations being resumed, in what way do...?"
PERES: "Our estimation is that they will be resumed - and it will happen rather soon. I would say in a matter of weeks. I think we went along the way, and there is no sense to go back."
REPORTER: "Do you think American mediation should be continued or would you rather see at this stage direct negotiations between Egypt and Israel: without the Americans?"
PERES: "I am afraid it is impractical now to deal otherwise but to continue through the Americans...may be there was a time when we could have negotiated straight with the Egyptians...may be it would be better for all parties concerned; but as things stand today, I do not imagine for example that Egypt will give up the American mediation, when the Americans are supporting the opposition."
ARRENS: "I wouldn't say the negotiations are being broken off. There are some disagreements but the responses that are currently issued between the parties int he negotiation and I am sure that there will be further contact...we have open channels of communication with Egypt directly if necessary involving the United States, I would prefer directly. The United States feels itself under very considerable obligation to the Arab world. I guess primarily Saudi Arabia, and via Saudi Arabia, Egypt. Almost inevitably when differences of opinion arise between Israel and Egypt, int he negotiations, and they are inevitable, because after all we have differences of interest and differences of views, then sooner or later the United States administration comes down and I would say comes down very heavy handedly on the side of the Egyptians."
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Background: In Jerusalem, the leader of the opposition Labour Party and a government spokesman has commented on the recent developments in the search for a peace treaty with Egypt. On Monday (18 DECEMBER), just before the crucial Israeli Parliament debate on the breakdown of negotiations, Labour leader Shimon Peres and Moshe Arrens, the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee, said they were optimistic about future talks with the Egyptians. In the parliamentary debate, Israeli politicians passed a resolution supporting the government's Middle East policy and blaming Egypt and the United States for the failure to sign a peace treaty earlier this month.
SYNOPSIS: Former Prime Minister Yitzach Rabin attended the meeting of the Foreign and Defence Committee, along with the present Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin. Shimon Peres, and Moshe Arrens both underplayed the latest hitch int he peace negotiations.