Speaking at a dinner in Washington on Tuesday (27 February) United States President Jimmy Carter commented on the Israeli Cabinet's decision not to participate in a further Camp David Peace Summit at present.
GV & CUs U.S. President Jimmy Carter giving statement. (6 SHOTS)
SV & CU Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin giving statement, reporters taking notes. (9 SHOTS)
CARTER:"If the negotiations are delayed, my guess is that it will become increasingly difficult for Sadat to stand in limbo where he's not part of a cohesive Arab world and he's apparently not making any progress in finding peace with Israel, he might be inclined to withdraw from the negotiations and go back and re-establish himself as part of the Arab world in a cohesive sense of brotherhood. So that's why we have been so insistent on trying to bring the talks to a conclusion. I don't have any idea what's going to happen when Begin comes over here Thursday (1 March) night. We'll be negotiating all day Friday. We'll probably stop for the Sabbath on Saturday and then negotiate some more. And if those talks open up an opportunity for improvement in the negotiation directly with Egypt, I have no doubt that Sadat and or his Prime Minister would be here immediately to resume the negotiations. And we are that close to it. The remaining differences on the peace treaty are absolutely insignificant."
BEGIN:"I am not going and I do not intend to meet Dr. Khalil, even if he is during my stay in the United States, in that country. The refusal on which we decided on yesterday (27 February), and I explained in our communique, was not based on issues of prestige. It was clear to my colleagues, and to me, that such a meeting at this juncture, after the meeting held with the participation of our Foreign Minister at Camp David, not only would not be useful to the peace making process, but actually would be very detrimental. There is indeed a very extreme new attitude of the Egyptians towards the problems of the peace treaty. Had we accepted those proposals, may I say, it wouldn't at all be a peace treaty, I would actually call it a war treaty. And for war you don't need treaties, you need guns. And therefore we took our decision yesterday not to participate in that proposed, so-called summit at Camp David. And now, as you say in America, shoot your questions.
BEGIN:"I don't think that President Carter will use pressure. I would like to say very clearly that if pressure is used against us, we shall reject it."
REPORTER: "Is there American support for what you call that hardening of the Egyptian position that you will be talking to President Carter about?"
BEGIN:"I have to say in candid that at Camp David when our Foreign Minister participated in the talks, regrettably there was some support among the American delegation for Egyptian proposals that were totally unacceptable to Israel and of this extreme character I described to you.
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Background: Speaking at a dinner in Washington on Tuesday (27 February) United States President Jimmy Carter commented on the Israeli Cabinet's decision not to participate in a further Camp David Peace Summit at present. He also spoke about the effect of that decision on Egyptian President Anwar Sadat's position in the Arab world and his likely reaction. But he said he hoped Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin's decision to visit Washington for several days of private talks might produce a formula that would bring about a resumption of the pace negotiations. For his part, Mr. Begin told reporters in Jerusalem on Wednesday (28 February) that he would not be attending a summit and even if the Egyptian Prime Minister Dr. Mustapha Khalil, was in the United States at the time of his visit he would not be seeing him.