In an interview in Paris on Thursday (11 October) Egypt's Foreign Affairs Minister, Boutros Ghali ruled out the possibility of hostilities between Egypt and Israel if negotiations on Palestinian autonomy failed.
MCU Egypt's Foreign Minister Boutros Ghali speaking in French
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Background: In an interview in Paris on Thursday (11 October) Egypt's Foreign Affairs Minister, Boutros Ghali ruled out the possibility of hostilities between Egypt and Israel if negotiations on Palestinian autonomy failed. But he said that The Arab Collective Security Pact had priority over the Egyptian-Israeli treaty.
SYNOPSIS: The interview was given to the French Diplomatic Press Association and foreign correspondents. Mr. Ghali stressed his optimism by comparing the state of Egyptian-Israeli relations in November, 1977, regarding the Sinai peninsula, with the equally difficult problem fifteen months later over the West Bank and Gaza strip.
He told the reporters that the means to finding a way of granting autonomy to the Palestinian people was of prime importance. But these negotiations involved long debates.
He said, the position of Egypt is very clear: that in the case of a confrontation or conflict between Egypt's obligations under the Egyptian-Israeli treaty and its obligations under the Arab Collective Security Treaties, the Arab Security Pact must win out.
Mr. Ghali said that it would be up to Egypt, a sovereign state, to decide at what stage to intervene in case of an attack on an Arab state.
Egypt would abide by its treaty with Israel, and would exchange ambassadors early in the new year despite the protracted autonomy talks, he said, and there would be no hostilities between the two countries even if the talks should fail.