TEL AVIV, ISRAEL
Israel opposition Labour Party leader Shimon Peres returned to Israel on January 31 to the news that President Yitzhak Navon was to resign from politics in May.
TEL AVIV, ISRAEL
1. SCU INTERIOR Opposition leader Shimon Peres speaking to reporter (SOT) 1.12
SPEECH TRANSCRIPT (SEQUENCE ONE):
PERES: "Well I believe that a condition of a serious continuation of this is to start the negotiations without prior conditions. Actually on that subject we have had a complete agreement with the president of France. He too said that in his judgement Jordan for example should join in without any prior conditions nd then every party can state its case and put its onus on its demands. But no party can dictate to the other party what to do or what to say: In my own judgement the best bet to start serious negotiations with the Jordanians would be that Israel will come on the basis of Camp David and Jordan can come on its own basis and start meaningful negotiations."
REPORTER: "What is your reaction to President Navon's announcement today?"
PERES: "I think Navon was a great president and I hope the nation will use its talents in the future."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: TEL AVIV, ISRAEL
Israel opposition Labour Party leader Shimon Peres returned to Israel on January 31 to the news that President Yitzhak Navon was to resign from politics in May. President Navon's announcement is a serious blow to the Labour Party's chances of winning government from Prime Minister Menachem Begin. President Navon, a former Labour politician, was seen by many as the only man who could have successfully challenged Mr. Begin in a general election.
Mr. Peres had just returned from a five-day visit to France where he discussed with President Francois Mitterrand efforts to withdraw foreign forces from Lebanon. He said like Israel, President Mitterrand wanted King Hussein of Jordan to participate in the peace process without prior conditions. He said Israel should enter the talks on the basis of the Camp David accord. Mr. Peres said despite differences between France and Israel, M. Mitterrand's socialist administration was the closest government in Europe to Israel. Mr. Peres said he thought Israel, Palestine and Syria could agree with Lebanon on immediate withdrawal of troops from the heart of Lebanon before continuing talks on a permanent peace for the country.
Source: REUTERS - TALI GODER