The Middle East ...and in Jerusalem on Sunday (29 January), the Israeli Cabinet unanimously decided?
The Middle East ...and in Jerusalem on Sunday (29 January), the Israeli Cabinet unanimously decided to rejoin defence talks with Egypt in Cairo. No exact date has been set for the resumption of talks, but Reuter said it will probably be later this week. The defence talks broke off when Egypt walked out of the Foreign Ministers' gathering in Jerusalem on January the 18th. The Israeli decision to rejoin the defence talks was in spite of a new burst of criticism against them by the Egyptian press, and by the Egyptian Foreign Minister, Mohammed Ibrahim Kamel.
SYNOPSIS: Mr. Kamel's criticism was made in Cairo in a meeting at the People's Assembly Building, the Egyptian parliament.
The Foreign Minister was the main speaker at the gathering, which was a joint meeting of the Arab, Foreign Affairs, and National Security, Committees of the People's Assembly. Mr. Kamel, who led the Egyptian delegation to the abortive political talks in Jerusalem two weeks ago, laid the blame for their breakdown fairly and squarely on the Israelis.
In a strong speech to the delegates, Mr. Kamel said the talks had failed because of what he described as Israel's "negotiating tricks, and time-wasting techniques". He also claimed that Israel had presented the conference with side issues far from the basic ones.
Mr. Kamel went on to say that Egypt was prepared to resume what he termed "serious work at the negotiating process" if the Israeli government gave up such methods and acted with seriousness and objectivity.
The Egyptian Foreign Minister also accused Israel of adopting an intransigent stand towards what Egypt considers are the two basic issues for a comprehensive Middle East peace settlement. They are Israeli withdrawal from all territory occupied in the 1967 Middle East war, and self-determination for the Palestinians.