Although the United Nations Emergency Force is to stay in the Sinai tension between Egypt and israel is still running high.
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Background: Although the United Nations Emergency Force is to stay in the Sinai tension between Egypt and israel is still running high.
Egypt's President Anwar Sadat on Wednesday (23 July) agreed to extend the mandate of the peacekeeping force by there months, after delaying his decision in protest at the lack of progress in peace negotiations.
But now Israel is refusing to sign an interim agreement unless it is preceded by face-to-face negotiations with Egypt -- and Egypt refuses to do this.
President Sadat says he will only negotiate through the United States as a third party.
To negotiate face-to-face with the Israelis would be regarded in many Arab quarters as virtual recognition of the State of Israel.
But Israel's Premier, Yitzhak Rabin, says he doubts if President Sadat really wants peace. It was not enough to negotiate through Washington, he said.
The first pull-back of Israeli troops from positions they occupied in Sinai in 1967 was accomplished after the 1973 war, following direct talks between Israeli and Egyptian military representatives.
It had been widely assumed that the second stage would follow indirect negotiations conducted through the United States and clinched by another tour of the Middle East by the United States Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger.