Israeli and Egypt have reopened peace negotiations with surprise meetings in Austria. Israel's Defence Minister?
Israeli and Egypt have reopened peace negotiations with surprise meetings in Austria. Israel's Defence Minister Ezer Weizman arrived at Salzburg Airport on Thursday (13 July) reportedly on a hastily arranged flight from Tel Aviv. He went directly to nearby Fuschl Palace to meet President Anwar Sadat of Egypt.
SYNOPSIS: Egyptian Deputy Prime Minister, and Minister of War, Mohammed Ghani Gamassi, flew into Salzburg to joint President Sadat for the talks. Foreign Minister Mohammed Ibrahim Kamel was also reported to be going to Austria for the talks - the first since Middle East peace negotiations stalled in the New Year. According to Egyptian officials, the Austrian meetings were arranged at short notice. Reports from Tel Aviv said Israel took the initiative.
General Gamassi arrived in Austria ahead of the Israeli party and was present at the lakeside Fuschl Palace to welcome them for the sixth meeting since Israel and Egypt began direct negotiations.
The Israeli Defence Minister, Mr. Weizman, refused to tell newsmen whether he was carrying new proposals to continue the peace initiative launched by President Sadat during his visit to Israel last November. Mr. Weizman also declined to say how long he would stay in Austria. His plans were flexible, he said. Asked why he wanted to meet General Gamassi, Mr. Weizman said he had not seen the Egyptian Minister for three months and added: "We used to see each other a lot more often".
Mr. Weizman was driven from the airport to Fuschl with an Austrian police escort for the talks - which took place just four days before further Israeli-Egyptian discussions in London.