The United Nations Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim on Wednesday (23 July) welcomed Egypt's decision to extend the mandate of the peace-keeping force in Sinai as a step towards a lasting peace in the Middle East.
GV EXTERIOR U.N. building
CU INTERIOR Waldheim speaking
CU INTERIOR PAN ACROSS English and Hebrew script
SCU Rabin speaking
TRANSCRIPT: SEQ. 5: RABIN: "I welcome the positive answer of the government of Egypt to the appeal made by the Security Council. The Egyptian Government agrees in this answer to an extension of the mandate of the peace-keeping force of the United Nations by a further period of three months."
"Before we could decide an agreement could be signed between Egypt and Israel there must be face-to-face meetings between the delegations of our two countries. Without such a step I doubt if the agreement will be achieved and will mean what it should mean once it will be achieved. The purpose of an interim agreement is not just to reach an understanding between diplomats. The purpose of it is to start changing attitudes of people - to change the way leaders of the two countries speak to their own people, speak to the world, speak between themselves."
The United Nations Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim, has welcomed Egypt's agreement to an extended U.N. mandate in Sinai as a step towards a lasting peace in the Middle East.
But the Israeli Premier, Yitzhak Rabin, was not so optimistic. He said in Jerusalem there would not even be an interim agreement without direct negotiations with Egypt.
Initials CL/0220 CL/0226
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Background: The United Nations Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim on Wednesday (23 July) welcomed Egypt's decision to extend the mandate of the peace-keeping force in Sinai as a step towards a lasting peace in the Middle East.
But the Israeli Premier, Yitzhak Rabin,, declared forcefully that unless there were direct, face-to-face talks with Egypt on a fresh withdrawal from the Sinai front, Israel would refuse to sign any interim agreement.
Both speeches were made after President Anwar Sadat of Egypt reversed an earlier decision and agreed to extend the mandate of the United Nations Emergency Force in Sinai for a further three months, responding to a direct appeal from the U.N. Security Council.
The force will now remain as a buffer between the Egyptian and Israeli armies until October 24, at least.
But Mr. Rabin's stance was uncompromising. He said Israel was prepared for a further interim agreement with Egypt only if it is accepted as an advance towards a true peace in the Middle East. He said he doubted if President Sadat really wanted peace.
The first withdrawal of Israeli troops from positions they occupied in Sinai in 1967 was accomplished after the 1973 war. Until Mr. Rabin insisted on direct negotiations, it had been widely assumed that the second stage would follow indirect negotiations conducted through the United States.
Mr. Rabin however says it is not enough to negotiate through Washington.
This film is serviced with excerpts from Mr. Waldheim's and Mr. Rabin's speeches. Transcripts follow.