U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger arrived in Jerusalem on Thursday (21 august) amid strict?
U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger arrived in Jerusalem on Thursday (21 august) amid strict security precautions but apparently confident of securing a new interim peace agreement between Israel and Egypt.
Dr. Kissinger said on arrival at Ben Curion Airport, near Tel Aviv, that since the breakdown of his previous peace bid in March, both sides had made concessions. He said it should be possible to bring to a close "this phase of diplomacy in the Middle East".
From the airport, Dr. Kissinger was whisked into the heart of Jerusalem aboard an air force helicopter. The decision to fly Dr. Kissinger into the hilltop city surprised the hundreds of protesters waiting to demonstrate there against his visit and the proposed agreement with Egypt.
The shouting demonstrators were mainly from right-wing and extreme religious groups opposed to Israel giving up oilfields and Sinai Desert strongholds as part of the agreement.
Dr. Kissinger is expected to shuttle between Israel and Egypt for the next ten days to try to tie up the loose ends still separating Israeli and Egyptian negotiating positions.
He was due to start talks with Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and his team of negotiators on Friday (22 August) before flying to Egypt on the same day.