United States President Ronald Reagan has said that the Palestinian inhabitants of the West Bank and Gaza Strip should have full autonomy and has called for a freeze on the building of Jewish settlements in the territories.
New York: SV President Reagan Speaking. (English SOT)
Jerusalem: SV Prime Minister Menachem Begin arrives at Knesset.
Sv Foreign Affairs Minister Yitzhak Shamir arriving at Knesset.
GV Helicopter carrying U.S. Defence Secretary Caspar Weinberger coming down to land.
SV Prime Minister Begin leaving Knesset and getting into car.
Sv Cabinet spokesman Dan Meridor speaking. (English SOT)
TRANSCRIPT: REAGAN: (SEQ 1) "A clearer sense of America's position on the key issues is necessary to encourage wider support for the peace process. First, as outlined in the Camp David Accords, there must be a period of time during which the Palestinian inhabitants of the West Bank and Gaza will have full autonomy over their own affairs. Due consideration must be given to the principle of self-government by the inhabitants of the territories and to the legitimate security concerns of the parties involved. The United States will not support the use of any additional lands for the purpose of settlements during the transitional period. Indeed the immediate adoption of a settlement freeze by the Israel more than any other action could create the confidence needed for wider participation in these talks."
MERIDOR: (SEQ 6) "Since the positions of the Government of the United States seriously deviates from the Camp David Agreement, contradicts it, and could create a serious danger to Israel, its security and its future, the Government of Israel has resolved that on the basis of these positions it will not enter into any negotiations with any party. The Government of Israel is ready to renew the autonomy negotiations forthwith with the Governments of the United States and Egypt, signatories to Camp David."
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Background: United States President Ronald Reagan has said that the Palestinian inhabitants of the West Bank and Gaza Strip should have full autonomy and has called for a freeze on the building of Jewish settlements in the territories. Mr. Reagan made the appeal during a televised address about the situation in the Middle East on September 1. The U.S. leader said consideration must be given to the principle of self-government by the inhabitants of the territories, but that the security interests of all parties should also be respected. The response of the Israeli Cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on September 2 was a swift rejection of the Reagan proposals. The cabinet was in session as the US Defence Secretary Caspar Weinberger arrived in Israel for a visit. A Cabinet statement issued through spokesman Dan Meridor said the US had taken up positions deviating from the Camp David Agreement and it rejected the proposals as a basis for negotiations. The statement went on to say that Mr. Reagan's ideas could create a serious danger to Israel, it security and future. Israel was only willing to renew autonomy talks with Egypt and the United States, the statement added.