In Cairo on Monday (23 January), Egypt announced that it would launch a major diplomatic drive to canvass world support for its stand on a Middle East peace settlement.
In Cairo on Monday (23 January), Egypt announced that it would launch a major diplomatic drive to canvass world support for its stand on a Middle East peace settlement. The drive will include sending delegations to the United States for talks with President Jimmy Carter, as well as to a number of European, African and Arab countries. Meanwhile the American delegate to last week's abortive peace talks in Jerusalem, Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, has returned to the United States to brief President Carter.
SYNOPSIS: Mr. Vance arrives back in Washington with what observers have described as a surprisingly optimistic assessment of Egyptian-Israeli difference. Mr. Vance said that he expected the two countries to resume peace contacts within ten days. But he warned them to be more diplomatic.
Meanwhile in Cairo, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat met with his Foreign Minister, Mohammed Ibrahim Kamel, and other senior officials to study a report on the deadlocked political and military talks.
An official Foreign Ministry source later said that the Israeli decision not to withdraw the whole of its delegation to the military talks in Cairo meant that the situation that had been frozen, but not terminated. He said that efforts were underway to overcome obstacles in resuming the talks. There are also moves to rally world opinion to the Egyptian side. Foreign Minister Kamel has been chosen to canvass support from the leaders of Britain, France and West Germany. Vice-President Hosni Mubarak is to visit Arab and African leaders, and a parliamentary delegation, will meet President Carter.
While the Egyptians discussed diplomatic strategy, in Jerusalem at the Knesset, Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin was replying to recent criticisms of Israel made in Egyptian newspapers.
Mr. Begin accused the newspapers of mounting an anti-semitic campaign. He noted that one had referred to him as "Shylock". Shylock was the name of a hard-hearted Jewish money-lender in a play by the English dramatist, William shakespeare. Mr. Begin said he hoped the Egyptian government would suppress such statements and create a suitable atmosphere for the resumption of talks.