President Jimmy Carter of the United States arrived in Israel in the evening of Saturday, (March 10), on the second stage of his Middle East visit.
President Jimmy Carter of the United States arrived in Israel in the evening of Saturday, (March 10), on the second stage of his Middle East visit. He flew from Cairo, after two days of talks in Egypt with President Anwar Sadat, and landed at Gurion airport at Tel Aviv.
SYNOPSIS: After a formal welcome at the airport, the President and his hosts drove to Jerusalem. The Mayor, Mr Teddy Kollek, was waiting to greet him at the entrance to the city. It was not Mr Carter's first visit to Jerusalem: he was there once before, in 1975, when he was Governor of Caorgia. The only other American President to visit the city while in office was Mr Richard Nixon in 1974.
A handful of demonstrators from the Gush ?munim religious movement showed that to then the visit was not welcome. But a rabbi handed the President the traditional symbol of hospitality: bread and salt. His reception in Israel was less fervent then it had been in Egypt, reflecting the mixed feelings of different groups of Israeli opinion.
The only engagement for President and Mrs Carter that evening was a dinner with Prime Minister Nenachen Begin and his wife at their home. No-one else was present, At the same time, the Israeli Foreign Minister, Mr Dayan and the Defence Minister General Weizman, were giving a dinner at Jerusalem's King David Hotel, at which the other leading members of President Carter's party were the chief guests.
The evening had been planned as an entirely social occasion. But in fact, after dinner, the two leaders withdrew into Mr Begin's study for just over an hour and had their first discussions of the counter-proposals that President Carter had brought from his meeting with President Sadat.
The first full working session, with other ministers and advisers present, did not take place until Sunday morning. Before they began, President and Mrs Carter went to church, and visited the Yad Vashem Memorial to Jawish victims of Hazi persecution.