President Carter and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat had talks lasting two and a half hours in Cairo on Thursday (8 March).
President Carter and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat had talks lasting two and a half hours in Cairo on Thursday (8 March). The talks, which Reuters news agency called 'inconclusive', came a short time after Mr Carter arrived in Cairo at the start of his peace mission to Egypt and Israel seeking to break the deadlock in negotiations between the two Middle Eastern countries.
SYNOPSIS: After the U.S. presidential jet, Air Force One, touched down at Cairo Airport, Mr and Mrs Carter were received with full honours, including a twenty-one gun salute. They were introduced to a long line of dignitaries, including Cabinet ministers, senior offices in the armed forces and noted religious figures. Political observes say Mr Carer has staked his prestige, and perhaps his political future, on this trip.
President Carter had brought with him the proposals he gave to Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin at the White House last Sunday (March 4). These proposals received a positive response from the Israeli Cabinet, and Mr Begin said in Tel Aviv on Thursday (8 March) that Israel would have to reject any Egyptian counter-proposals which eroded the U.S. plan. A short time before Mr Carter arrived, the Egyptian Prime Minister, Dr Mustapha Khalil, said in Cairo that Egypt would table its counter-proposals immediately he was in the Egyptian capital. Dr Khalil said Egypt would never accept U.S. bases or soldiers in Sinai or anywhere in Egypt as part of security measures for the Middle East. Reports in Cairo have said Mr Begin made a suggestion along these lines to Mr Carter. Dr Khalil said the United States would supply arms to Egypt, but without privileges or alliances of any kind. Welcoming Mr Carter, President Sadat spoke in glowing terms of his mission, and touched on a central point -- the future of Palestinians -- which has been a major stumbling block to negotiations.
After the two leaders' initial talks, a brief travelling White House statement was issued. It said these talks had focused almost entirely on unresolved issues between Egypt and Israel, and negotiations on a peace treaty.