The Israeli premier Mrs. Golda Meir, in an interview in Jerusalem today (Friday, February the?
MV Golda Meir at desk.
MV Golda Meir at desk.
MV reporter and Meir at desk.
GV Meir at desk
CV Meir at desk.
TRANSCRIPT: (V/O reporter asks): (SEQ. 1 PART 1): "In his speech last night President Sadat calls on Israel to stage a partial pull-back from the Suez Canal. In return he said he'd consider re-opening the canal to shipping. In your opinion is this a negotiating point?"
(Golda Meir:) "Immediately after the six-day war the Government of Israel said that we are prepared that the canal should be opened. Even before peace, even before negotiations that if Egypt other maritime powers are interested in the opening of the canal, as far as we are concerned, we agree. We had only one little condition that if the canal is opened, it would be opened also to Israeli shipping. By the way there is a security council resolution of years ago that Israel should have the right of shipping through the Suez Canal. And after we pulled back without any conditions after the Sinai campaign, the assumptions was agreed to by the Egyptian government at the time that if we pulled back, why then will be also Israel shipping through the Suez Canal. We never had it, but we were agreed that the canal should be opened, and I don't know why Sadat thinks that the opening of the canal is something that he is giving to us. He didn't even say that the canal would be opened and there would be peace with Israel So what he wants is for us to begin to pull back. There is nothing astonishing about that, is exactly what he wants. Without even a peace agreement. So there's nothing revolutionary in his stand of yesterday. If you have read his statement, he hasn't mentioned at any point that under any conditions he's prepared to sign a peace agreement with Israel.
"Well if Egypt: is not Prepared to sign a peace agreement .... (Mrs Meir says Israel will not call off the peace talks ..." This is what the security council resolution has decided that Dr. Jarring should bring the parties together to sign a peace agreement."
TRANSCRIPT: (Reporter asks:) (SEQ. 1 PART 1): "Mrs. Meir it's been suggested that one of the ways you could demonstrate good faith to the arabs would be to stop building in East Jerusalem and in some of the other areas you took from the Arabs in 1967."
(Golda Meir replies:) "In 1948 the late King Abdullah with his legion took the old city of Jerusalem. Why didn't he make peace with us after that? In 1967 the western bank was not under our control. Gaza was not under our control. The Sinai deserts was not under our control - why was there no peace between us? In 1956 thee was the Sinai campaign. We pulled back from (indistinct) we left the Sinai desert we pulled out of Gaza and the Gaza strip. Why was there no peace with us.?"
(Reporter:) "Mrs. Meir a last question. At this stage in the Jarring talks how would you describe your own feelings about it. Are you (indistinct)?"
"An - to be honest - every morning I get up making this speech to myself that may be after all something will happen.- a break-through - and these negotiations will lead to peace ... after all the government of Israel can - after the violation of the ceasefire in August decided to go back to the Jarring talks, is because despite everything that proves contrary we said we are obligated, knowing the spirit of our people, and our desire of government to really come to a peace agreement we must try and we must do everything within our power to make these talks successful. That's the only reason we're going back for - and we're going to do our best."
TRANSCRIPT: (Reporter asks:) (SEQ. 1 PART 3): "Mrs. Meir is there not a small point, perhaps even any significant point on which you and the Arabs can now start talking and perhaps build up a peace in that fashion?"
TRANSCRIPT: (Gold Meir replies:) "No we don't think that that could lead us anywhere - if we come to an agreement on all outstanding items there will be peace and an end of fighting."
(Reporter asks:) "Do you think the Jarring talks have lessened the chances of war or are they about the same as they were before the talks resumed?"
"Well, we are glad that the firing hasn't been resumed to date . . .
. . . and another thing our boys don't want - they don't want to kill others either"
The first 69' of Part 1 is Original colour for X1445/71(T/R)
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The Israeli premier Mrs. Golda Meir, in an interview in Jerusalem today (Friday, February the 5th) commented on President Sadat's speech.
President Sadat of the United Arab Republic, in a major speech on Thursday (February 4th) announced that the UAR had agreed to extend the Middle East ceasefire another 30 days. He also proposed that Israeli troops should be withdrawn from the Sue Canal in that time.