Egyptian and Israeli army officers met at Baluza in the buffer zone between Israel and Egypt on Wednesday (22 October) to discuss a provisional agenda for future talks for the implementation of last mont h's disengagement agreement.
GV Egypt, Israel and U.N. representatives talking before entering meeting
CU & GV Representatives entering tent
SV U.N. spokesman, Lieutenant General Ensio Siilasvuo welcoming both parties to meeting
GV Representatives leaving tent
TRANSCRIPT: SIILASVUO: "I take great pleasure in welcoming you to this first meeting of the joint commission established under the Egypt-Israel agreement. As stated in t he agreement and its protocol the chief objective of the joint commission is to consider any problems arising from the agreement and to assist SILK in the execution of its mandate."
This film is services with part of a speech by Lieutenant General Ensio Siilasvuo.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Egyptian and Israeli army officers met at Baluza in the buffer zone between Israel and Egypt on Wednesday (22 October) to discuss a provisional agenda for future talks for the implementation of last mont h's disengagement agreement.
The meeting was under the chairmanship of the chief co-ordinator of the United Nations Forces in the Middle East, Lieutenant General Ensio Siilasvuo. Israel was represented by Major General Herzl Shafir, Head of the General Staff Branch, and Colonel Shimon Levinson, Liaison Officer to the U.N. The Egyptian delegation was led by General Taha Maghdomb.
The interim agreement provides for the compete withdrawal of Israel from the Abu Rudeis and Ras Sudar oilfields by 15 November. The evacuation began on 10 October with the handing over the Ras Sudar well to American technicians representing Egypt.
The second phase of the withdrawal will begin on 12 January when United Nations forces will begin moving into areas in the north evacuated by Israel including the Mitla and Gidi passes. This is due to be completed by 22 January when 200 American technicians are expected to be manning the early warning stations allotted to both sides under the agreement.
Wednesday (22 October) was also the day set down for the scheduled passage through the Suez Canal of Israeli cargo on a non-Israeli vessel ---the first allowed through the waterway for 25 years -- under the interim agreement. However this has been postponed for ten days due to technical reasons. Israeli Government officials said that the postponement was not caused by Egypt.