President Jimmy Carter's Middle Eastern envoy, the United States Assistant Secretary of State Alfred Atherton, on Thursday (23 February) submitted Israel's latest proposals on a peace settlement to Egyptian officials in Cairo.
GV: US Assistants Secretary of State Mr Alfred Atherton and party leave aircraft at Cairo airport.
GV: entourage walk across tarmac.
SCU: Mr Atherton speaking in English.
TRANSCRIPT: SEQ. 3: ATHERTON: "Well, let me say first how happy I am to be back in Egypt. Mrs Atherton and I have so many old friends here and we always look forward to coming back and to seeing them. Since I left Cairo the last time, of course, President Sadat has had a very important visit to Washington and very important talks with President Carter. I'm here to help to build on those talks, to continue the efforts to reach agreement on a declaration of principle for a comprehensive Middle East peace settlement. When President Sadat was in Washington, President Carter would re-double its efforts and I am here to carry out that pledge and to help maintain the all-important continuity of the negotiating process."
Mr Atherton has so far refused to give any details of Israel's latest proposals, or Egypt's response to them. Differences on a declaration of principles between Egypt and Israel led President Sadat to recall the Egyptian delegation from talks in Jerusalem last month. Egypt wants Israel to withdraw from all Arab territories it occupied in the 1967 war, grant self-determination for Palestinians and dismantle its settlements on Arab territories. Israel refuses to withdraw from all occupied territories, offers limited self-rule to Palestinians on the West Bank of the River Jordan and in the Gaza Strip and says established Israeli settlements must remain.
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Background: President Jimmy Carter's Middle Eastern envoy, the United States Assistant Secretary of State Alfred Atherton, on Thursday (23 February) submitted Israel's latest proposals on a peace settlement to Egyptian officials in Cairo. He held two hours of talks with Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohammed Ibrahim Kamel, and later said he would be carrying Cairo's reply back to Israel. He was expected to return to Tel Aviv at the weekend.
Mr Atherton flew to Cairo from Tel Aviv after two days of consultations with officials including Prime Minister Menachem Begin. At the airport he spoke to reporters.