After sending several days meeting Israeli leaders in Jerusalem, United States Assistant Secretary of State Alfred Atherton returned to Cairo on Tuesday (28 February) with the latest Israeli peace proposals.
MV: United States Assistant Secretary of State, Alfred Atherton, speaking in English. (2 shots)
SV: Egyptian Foreign Minister Ibrahim Kamel speaking in English.
ATHERTON: "The Minister and I had a very good preliminary talk. I've reported to him on my most recent round of talks in Israel. We discussed in a preliminary way the Israeli suggestions on the declaration of principles, which I brought with me, and we will be meeting again tomorrow morning to continue this discussions on the declaration of principles."
REPORTER: "The question of settlements. Has it been raised here, on in Jerusalem?"
ATHERTON: "We did discuss here the question of settlements. The Foreign Minister stated the Egyptian position on this question, and I have reaffirmed out own position on the question, which is, of course very well known, and has been stated many times on the public record."
Mr Kamal was then asked for his views.
KAMEL: "Well, the negotiations are going on, and the intention is to narrow the gap. this will take its time. And, as Assistant Secretary Athereton said, we will be meeting again tomorrow, and he will be going to Israel with our views, and I can't say more than that."
Mr. Atherton held another meeting with Mr. Kamel of Wednesday (1 March) before going on to Ismailia for another round of talks with President Sadat. He told reporters he had not placed a deadline on his shuttle-diplomacy programme, but he would definitely be returning to Washington a few days before Israeli Prime Minister Begin's planned meeting with President Carter in mid-March.
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Background: After sending several days meeting Israeli leaders in Jerusalem, United States Assistant Secretary of State Alfred Atherton returned to Cairo on Tuesday (28 February) with the latest Israeli peace proposals. he once again met Egypt's Foreign Minister Ibrahim Kamel to report on the latest developments towards a Middle East peace settlement. After the meeting, the two men told newsmen of their progress.