The United States Secretary of State Mr. Cyrus Vance arrived in Israel on Saturday (10?
The United States Secretary of State Mr. Cyrus Vance arrived in Israel on Saturday (10 December) on the second leg of his Middle East tour. He flew in from Cairo where he had held talks with Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. Israeli leaders awaited Mr. Vance's visit to hear America's views on the forthcoming Cairo peace meeting, and the results of his talks with Mr. Sadat.
SYNOPSIS: Among officials who waited to greet Mr. Vance at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport were Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan, and the United States ambassador to Israel Samuel Lewis.
They left almost immediately for Jerusalem where talks were to be held.
Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin was first to arrive at the Jerusalem meeting on Saturday night (10 December). Diplomatic sources in Israel saw Mr. Vance's trip as having two main purposes-to reaffirm American support for Egypt's efforts in seeking peace with Israel, and to try to widen the circle of Arab parties involved. They also believed Mr. Vance would be able to give a clearer outline on Egypt's agenda for the Cairo summit.
After his arrival Mr. Vance told the Israelis that Mr. Sadat had reaffirmed his desires for direct discussions between the parties, which America wholeheartedly supported.
He said they had reached an historic moment in the Middle East which had been created by President Sadat's visit to Israel.
Talks continued in Jerusalem on Sunday (11 December) at Mr. Begin's offices. Mr. Begin told reporters after the earlier session that it was quite possible the Cairo preliminary peace talks-to begin on Wednesday-would be upgraded from experts' level to include foreign ministers. But it would depend on President Sadat, who called the meeting. Mr. Sadat has made it clear that he would keep his options open.
Sunday's talks were also to include discussions on other ways of maintaining a Middle East Peace momentum. Mr. Vance was to leave on Monday for Amman, for talks with King Hussein.