President Anwar Sadat of Egypt has postponed indefinitely the Palestinian autonomy talks due to resume in Alexandria on Monday (4 August).
GV Foreign Affairs building in Cairo
SV INTERIOR United States Ambassador Alfred Atherton and two others walking up stairs in Ministry building
SV PAN FROM Egyptian Foreign Minister, General Kamal Hassan Ali TO Ambassador Atherton during their talks (2 shots)
SBV Dr. Ben Elissar, Israeli Ambassador to Egypt arriving at Foreign Ministry
CU PAN FROM General Kamal Hassan Ali TO Ambassador Dr. Ben Elissar during talks
SV PAN FROM Newsmen TO General Ali speaking in English
GV INTERIOR Israeli Knesset, Jerusalem. Cabinet members seated around table
SV ZOOM IN TO CU Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin
GV Cabinet members talking
CU Israeli cabinet spokesman Ariel Naor speaking in English (2 shots)
ALI: "It is not our problem now. Israel has to decide the way that makes the negotiations valid."
REPORTER: "You're saying it's an indefinite postponement until such times as these obstacles are removed?"
ALI: "I think so."
REPORTER: "General Ali, do you mean that Egypt would like to get from Mr. Begin an assurance that the present law in Jerusalem, the new law, would not affect the Israeli readiness to negotiate with Jerusalem."
ALI: "As always, Mr. Begin declared that every point is negotiable. So that's what we mean."
NAOR: "The Prime Minister brought before the cabinet a letter that he had received yesterday from President Sadat of Egypt. He read the letter word by word in the cabinet meeting and the cabinet elected a special ministerial committee shared by the Prime Minister himself to work on the Israeli answer to that letter of President Sadat. When the answer will be completed it will be channelled to Egypt through the diplomatic channels. But it is the opinion of both the Prime Minister and the cabinet ministers of Israel that there is no need to make the next election to the tenth Knesset of Israel before the legal date."
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Background: President Anwar Sadat of Egypt has postponed indefinitely the Palestinian autonomy talks due to resume in Alexandria on Monday (4 August). He says it's because of the new Israeli law absorbing East Jerusalem into a united Jewish capital.
SYNOPSIS: Following extensive talks at the Egyptian Foreign Ministry in Cairo, the American Ambassador in Cairo, Alfred Atherton, gave Egypt's Foreign Minister, Kamal Hassan Ali, a message outlining America's rejection of the Israeli move. Mr. Ali said that Egypt had asked both the United States and Israel to postpone the joint ministerial meeting on Palestinian autonomy. He said Egypt wanted a postponement until the Israeli Prime Minister, Menachem Begin and President Carter had answered messages from President Anwar Sadat on the Jerusalem issue.
Israeli Ambassador in Cairo, Eliahu Ben Elissar, was summoned by the Egyptian Foreign Minister to receive Mr. Sadat's reaction to the law passed last Wednesday (30 July). General Ali then spoke to reporters.
Prospects for a resumption in the Middle-East talks looked slim last week when Mr. Begin admitted that pressures on his government might force him to hold early elections. But on Sunday after an urgent cabinet meeting to discuss Egypt's withdrawal, Israeli cabinet spokesman Ariel Naor said there would not be an early election.