• Short Summary

    On Sunday (25 December) Israeli premier, Menachem Begin met his Egyptian counterpart, President Anwar Sadat for crucial peace talks on the Middle East.

  • Description

    GV ZOOM IN Israeli Premier Menachem Begin being greeted by Egyptian officials on arrival in Egypt

    GV PAN Begin and Israeli delegation enter conference villa

    SV INT Egyptian delegation headed by President Sadat PAN TO Israeli delegation on right headed by Premier Begin

    SCU President Sadat speaking in Arabic to newsmen as Premier Begin looks on

    SV Reporter asking Premier Begin a question and he replies in English, and moves away

    Reporter: "Mr. Prime Minister, what do you want to say to the Egyptian people after the peace talks?"

    BEGIN: "We respect the great Egyptian people and their ancient civilisation. We have come here to offer peace and to make peace. And as the President told you already, we started work and can only make a success because the President and I met for a short time. I don't think it lasted more than 20 minutes, Mr. President. And we took a very soon decision. We shall form two committees, working committees...One diplomatic and civilian issues and the other one military and security issues, headed by our ministries. Foreign Affairs and Defence respectively. One of the committees will be in Cairo, the other in Jerusalem. The ministers will rotate in chairmanship and represent (indistinct) in justice and in dignity, and they will work out all the details which will lead to the signing of a peace treaty. This part is the first step to a comprehensive peace settlement in the Middle East. Because......both the president and I still aim to establish peace throughout the Middle East so that our children and grand-children live in happiness."

    REPORTER: "Thank you."

    Initials BB/0030


    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: On Sunday (25 December) Israeli premier, Menachem Begin met his Egyptian counterpart, President Anwar Sadat for crucial peace talks on the Middle East. The talks took place at the Egyptian President's rest house in the Egyptian town of Ismailia, which overlooks the Suez Canal. The historic meeting on Egyptian soil followed President Sadat's peace-seeking visit to Israel last month.

    SYNOPSIS: On arrival at Abu Suweir air base, about 15 kilometres from Ismailia, Mr. Begin became the first Israeli Prime Minister ever to be welcomed in an Arab state. Ironically his pilot had bombed the base before.

    From there Mr. Begin, accompanied by senior Israeli government ministers, was flown by helicopter to President Sadat's rest house.

    The talks began immediately and before they broke for lunch, the two leaders had agreed that peace negotiations would continue at foreign and defence minister level after their summit had finished. They also decided to raise the level of the wider peace talks being held in Cairo. Reuters say this means that the foreign ministers of both countries will become involved.

    For the Egyptian leader, it was another day of triumph. He was celebrating his 59th birthday and he had just been named "Man of the Year" by Time Magazine for his recent peace initiatives. Questioned by newsmen, as Mr. Begin looked on, Mr. Sadat said that the talks had started well, but he would give no specific details of what concessions the Israelis were prepared to make to ensure peace. Nor would Mr. Begin when newsmen turned their attention to him.

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