In Washington, President Carter and Israeli Prime Minister, Menachem Begin, have resumed their talks on the stalled Middle East peace negotiations.
In Washington, President Carter and Israeli Prime Minister, Menachem Begin, have resumed their talks on the stalled Middle East peace negotiations. After the talks on Friday (2 March), Israeli officials warned that there were still no grounds for believing that the deadlock could be broken. But in Egypt, officials there have been more optimistic. The Egyptian Prime Minister, Mustapha Khalil, said on Wednesday (28 February), that the peace talks were not in serious danger. DR. Khalil met President Anwar Sadat to report on last week's peace talks in the United States and he denied Mr Begin's statement that Egypt had offered new proposals contrary to the Camp David accords.
SYNOPSIS: Dr. Khalil's optimistic forecast was in stark contrast to another statement by the Israeli Prime Minister. On the same day, Mr. Begin said that "great issues" remained unresolved But Dr. Khalil and President Carter both disagreed, saying the remaining problems between Egypt and Israel were 'insignificant'.
One of these problems concerns Egypt's defence pacts with neighbouring Arab countries. President Sadat wants to honour agreements with his neighbours to go to their defence if necessary, but Israel has refused to accept this. Another stumbling block remains the question of self-rule for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.