Israeli and American hopes that agreement on the fine print of Middle East peace settlement is in sight have been revived.
INTERIOR MV: Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin walks down steps to speak to newsmen at his office in Jerusalem. (2 shots)
MV: Menachem Begin makes statement to newsmen. Newsmen look on (4 shots)
MV: United States Assistant Secretary of State Alfred Atherton speaks to newsmen. (5 shots)
TRANSCRIPT: SEQ. 2: BEGIN: "We talked to Mr Atherton and the Ambassador about the problems concerning this issue and secondly we also raised the question of the supply of American arms to countries in the Middle East. Israel has got a commitment to the United States, already, a long-standing commitment about the supply of planes and there's no doubt whatsoever in our minds that commitment will be fulfilled."
SEQ. 3: ATHERTON: "I have a very good understanding of what the Israelis' views are. I will obviously have to convey this to the authorities in Cairo and see what (indistinct).
I anticipate that I will go to Cairo probably early next week for a continuation of this process. I think that as a result of these talks we have helped move matters forward at least a big."
Mr. Atherton was to convey the latest Israeli proposals on working for the principles of a Middle East peace settlement to Cairo early next week. But on the way he was to visit. Amman for a conference of American Ambassadors in the Middle East. Speculation in Israel was strong that Mr Atherton might also try to bring Jordan's King Hussein into the peace process. The King has been reported as saying that he might join the Israeli-Egyptian peace negotiations if agreement could be reached on the declaration of principles.
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Background: Israeli and American hopes that agreement on the fine print of Middle East peace settlement is in sight have been revived. Before his departure from Jerusalem on Thursday (26 January) United States Assistant Secretary of State, Alfred Atherton, who has been helping with peace negotiations, said he thought matters had "moved forward", and Reuter reported that Israeli officials were privately optimistic, believing significant headway had been made over the wording of a declaration of principles governing a Middle East peace agreement.
SYNOPSIS: Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, and Mr Atherton both spoke to the press after their meeting in Jerusalem.