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March 29, 1985 - Image 20

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1985-03-29

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Friday, March 29, 1985



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Israel Ready To Talk
Peace But Not With PLO

Jerusalem (JTA) — Premier
Shimon Peres told the Cabinet
Sunday that Israel is prepared to
meet any time, anywhere with a
joint Jordanian-Palestinian dele-
gation, provided that the Palesti-
nians were not members of the
Palestine Liberation Organiza-
tion (PLO).
He reiterated, however, Israel's
opposition to any prior meeting
between United States officials
and such a joint delegation, as
proposed by President Hosni
Mubarak of Egypt. According to
Peres, that would only serve to
work out a common position inim-
ical to Israel. He said the Ameri-
cans were also opposed to talks
with the Jordanians and Palesti-
nians in advance of direct talks
with Israel.
Sunday's Cabinet session was
devoted mainly to proposed cuts
in the defense budget. The minis-
ters deliberated for more than five
hours during which senior mili-
tary officers explained the impact
of the suggested cuts on their
specific branches.
The Cabinet sat as a Ministe-
rial Defense Committee, the pro-
ceedings of which are classified.
Israel Radio reported later than
none of the ministers opposed the
budget cuts. Police Minister Haim
Barley told reporters after the
meeting that whatever cuts are
made, Israel would still have a
strong, first-rate army. Barley is a
former Chief of Staff.
In Washington, the Reagan
Administration was discouraging
the impression this week that the
U.S. ehanged its position on meet-
ing with the joint Jordanian-
Palestinian delegation.
State Department spokesman
Bernard Kalb said that President
Reagan had not indicated a
change of policy toward the pro-
posed delegation in his remarks at
a press conference last Thursday.
"If you take everything the
President said in its totality you
will note there is no change in
U.S. policy," Kalb said. He said
the U.S. remains open to the pos-

sibility of meeting with the
Jordanian-Palestinian delega-
tion, "if such a meeting contrib-
utes to the goal of direct negotia-
tions between Israel and its Arab
During the nationally televised
press conference Reagan said that
"We are willing to meet" with a
joint delegation as long as it does
not include member of the PLO.
Egypt and Jordan have been
urging the U.S. to talk with such a
delegation since the conclusion of
an agreement between Jordan_
and PLO last month. But both -had
maintained that participation by
PLO members could not be
Kalb said that a meeting be-
tween Administration officials
and the joint delegation "is one of
a number of suggestions which
have been made and no final deci-
sions had been taken." He said
that all suggestions would be
explored during the visit by Assis-
tant Secretary for near Eastern
and South Asian Affairs Richard
Murphy to the Mideast next
month. _ _
Meanwhile, despite protests by =
Israel, the foreign ministers of the
ten European ,Economic Commu-
nity (EEC) member-states are ex-
pected to release a joint resolution
on the Middle East in Brussels
this weekend.
According to diplomatic sources
in Bonn, the statement will deal
with the situation in Lebanon and
in the Israel-administered ter-
According to the sources, there
will be no departure from the
June 1980 Venice delcaration of
the EEC leaders which called for
self-determination for the Pales-
tinian people and "association" of
the PLO in the Middle East peace
Israel rejected the declaration
at the time. Israeli envoys in
Western European capitals re-
cently have tried to convince the
EEC governments to issue no
further statements on the-Middle

Letter Outlines Strategic
Value of Judea, Samaria

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Lake Tahoe

Washington — A group of 19
United States Senators and
Representatives sent a letter to
President Reagan earlier this
month to ask that the U.S. assure
Israeli control over strategic
areas vital to its security — speci-
fically Judea, Samaria, Gaza and
The letter, which reached the
White House on the eve of Egyp-
tian President Hosni Mubarak's
visit to Washington, also urged
the Egyptian government to
honor its commitment to nor-
malize relations with Israel.
"Israel has already given up 90
percent of the territories taken in
1967," the letter said. "To give up
the minimum geostrategic areas
of defense would be a serious
weakness destabilizing the
region. We believe it is an illusion
to imagine that the surrender. of

defensible borders in exchange for
an unenforceable treaty will lead
to peace."
The Congressmen also noted
that under current Administra-
tion proposals, portions of Israel
could be narrowed down to a
width of nine miles. "Israel cannot
continue to be a strategic asset —
or even a viable nation — if it is
made strategically vulnerable.
We cannot support any plan
which envisions Israel only nine
mile wide in the center."
The letter was siO-ned by Sens.
Jesse Helms (R-NC), Steve
Symms (R-Idaho), Alfonse
D'Amato (R-NY) and 16 col-
leagues from the Senate and
House. It was the result of numer-
ous meetings between the Con,
gressmen and Peter Goldman, di-
rector of Americans for A Safe Is-

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