Israeli opposition Labour Party leaders returned to Tel Aviv on Sunday (9 November), well pleased with the results of talks they held in Cairo with members of Egypt's ruling National Democratic Party on Friday and Saturday (7 and 8 November).
SV Opposition leader Shimon Peres speaking to reporters in English at ben Gurion airport, Tel Aviv
GV Reporters taking notes
SV Opposition leader Shimon Peres listening to reporter and answering question
TRANSCRIPT: SEQ. 3: PERES: "Generally, we found a very relaxed atmosphere. I believe (indistinct) that the Egyptians are decided on the direction of peace. They feel that they have reached the point of no return. They feel that Egypt shines out in the Middle East as the most stable country. It has adopted a most responsible policy, and while they can see clearly the obstacles before us, they feel also that they are negotiating and we can reach an agreement and continue the momentum for peace so we shall arrive at a comprehensive peace in the Middle East. We came back very, very encouraged."
REPORTER 1: "What about the Jordanian option?"
PERES: "The Egyptians that we were speaking with told us that Jordan was invited or is invited to partake in the formulation of the future of the West Bank in the Palestinian issue. President Sadat (indistinct) the right time to invite the Jordanians will be after the Autonomy Agreement will be completed. From our point of view that is never. We feel it may be much better that "autonomy negotiations will be continued between the two parties, Egyptian and the Israeli, and upon completion, time will come to invite the Jordanians."
REPORTER 2: "Mr. Peres, was there any discussion as to whether the present negotiations that are supposed to resume November 17--the autonomy negotiations--will resume at that time?"
PERES: "My impressions are that the parties will await the new administration in the United States of America--that for the time being there is a vacuum in American administration and before the new administration will come in there is no sense to continue these negotiations."
REPORTER 2: "What is the point then in Prime Minister Begin's trip right now to see the current President, Jimmy Carter?"
PERES: "I believe the reason for Mr. Begin's going to the United States is Jabotinsky, this event or something of this nature."
Mr. Peres' last comment refers to Zeev Jabotinsky, the founder of Mr. Begin's Herut Party, the centennial celebration for whom was to be held on Tuesday (11 November).
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Israeli opposition Labour Party leaders returned to Tel Aviv on Sunday (9 November), well pleased with the results of talks they held in Cairo with members of Egypt's ruling National Democratic Party on Friday and Saturday (7 and 8 November). Labour Party leader Shimon Peres led the Israeli delegation.