U.S. President Gerald Ford is sending Secretary of State Henry Kissinger back to the Middle?
U.S. President Gerald Ford is sending Secretary of State Henry Kissinger back to the Middle East amid rising hopes that Egypt and Israel and close to agreement on another Israeli troop withdrawal in Sinai.
But while there was optimism in the U.S. and Egypt about an agreement after Dr. Kissinger's failure last March, Israel made it clear it has deep reservations.
President Ford announced on Sunday (17 August) that Dr. Kissinger would fly to Jerusalem on Wednesday (20 August) and then meet Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in Alexandria.
Dr. Kissinger told a news conference in Colorado he thought there was a good chance of success.
An Israeli cabinet communique, issued in Jerusalem shortly before Mr. Ford's announcement, said important issues remained unresolved. The communique, which was issued after a tough-talking five-hour session, ignored Dr. Kissinger's visit although Israel had prior knowledge of it.
Israel is generally lacking in enthusiasm for the projected peace accord. At the Knesset (Israeli Parliament) session on Monday (18 August) several members voiced opposition to the visit. But Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin said if a further interim settlement were reached, it would include many benefits for Israel.