In statements to the press after a meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and United States congressmen, both sides reiterated that Egypt and Israel are willing to restart the stalled Middle East peace talks.
CU U.S. Senator Lawrence MacDonald speaking in English
SV Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin speaking in English
MACDONALD: "President Sadat stated yesterday that the explosive condition that has existed for thirty years between Israel and Egypt has now come to an end. That there would never be a war again between the two countries; and he was firmly pledged to the termination of hostilities; and was looking forward to peace and a peaceful era of co-operation. This afternoon, your Prime Minister, Mr. Begin, reaffirmed his stand for peace, and expressed in very determined and friendly views, in friendly ways, that his nation and his government is also determined, and is ready, to sign the peace agreement. Obviously, two countries are going to disagree, and there are some remaining areas of discussion, but he was very pleased to announce that, by his information to date, the peace talks are to be resumed for the purpose of hammering out those residual areas of disagreement."
REPORTER: "After your meeting with the congressmen, Mr. Sadat said he was willing the congressmen, Mr. Sadat said he was willing to sign the peace treaty right now. Are you willing to sign the treaty right now?"
BEGIN: "I was prepared to sign the peace treaty months ago, and I showed the peace treaty to the congressmen, and since the seventeenth of November, we were prepared to sign the peace treaty. However....problems, one thing happened, and both countries are prepared to negotiate, to renew the peace agreements...(indistinct)."
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Background: In statements to the press after a meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and United States congressmen, both sides reiterated that Egypt and Israel are willing to restart the stalled Middle East peace talks. Mr. Begin said he expected the talks with Egypt to be resumed soon, despite differences on key points. The congressmen are a study mission from the U.S. House of Representatives Armed Services Committee. They arrived in Israel on Sunday (7 January) from Cairo, where they had talks with Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. Delegation leader lawrence MacDonald said President Sadat made it very clear that he was quite anxious for an early peace agreement, and expressed every interest in resuming the negotiations at an early date.