United States's Secretary of State Henry Kissinger's efforts to find a further interim settlement in the Middle East ware boosted on Tuesday (11 February) when he was told by Israeli leaders in Jerusalem that Israel reaffirmed its readiness to negotiate peace treaties with each of its Arab neighbours without preconditions.
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"The experience, shall we say, of negotiating with the Israeli negotiating team ... the idea that Israelis would be pushed back inadvertently without noticing it, so the speak, and without obtaining a quid pro quo, is so inconceivable that it requires almost no discussion."
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Background: United States's Secretary of State Henry Kissinger's efforts to find a further interim settlement in the Middle East ware boosted on Tuesday (11 February) when he was told by Israeli leaders in Jerusalem that Israel reaffirmed its readiness to negotiate peace treaties with each of its Arab neighbours without preconditions.
The assurance came during a reception give by Foreign Minister Yigal Allon at the King David Hotel on the eve of Dr Kissinger's departure for Egypt to begin talks with President Anwar Sadat in the capital, Cairo.
In redly to Mr. Allon, Dr Kissinger assured Israel that the United States was not going to sacrifice Israel to the exigencies of big power politics.
Egypt has demanded that Israel withdraw from the strategic Mitla and Giddi passes and return the productive Abu Rodeis oilfields in the Israeli-occupied Sinai region. Israel has refused to comply with these demands -- except in return for a written declaration of non-belligerency.
In addition, Israel has officially stated that it is unwilling to withdraw beyond thirty miles (48 kilometres) from the Sinai area. Egypt has declared that Israel must withdraw from all areas occupied since the 1967 War.
Dr Kissinger's task in this current round of peace negotiations is complicated by the need to reconcile these attitudes.
When he has competed his talks with the Egyptian President, Dr Kissinger will visit other heads of state -- including the Shah of Iran -- before returning to the United States. He is expected to resume his peace-seeking discussions in the Middle East next month.