President Anwar Sadat of Egypt decided on Thursday (15 May) top spurn renewed negotiations with Israel on Palestinian autonomy.
GV EXTERIOR People's Assembly building in Cairo
GV INTERIOR Members seated as President Anwar Sadat arrives (2 shots)
SV President Sadat speaking in Arabic
LV Sadat speaking to Assembly ZOOM INTO President Sadat mopping his brow
Israel's chief negotiator at the autonomy talks, Dr. Joseph Burg, described President Sadat's decision not to continue them as "astonishing". Under the Camp David accords, the Palestinian autonomy negotiations are to be completed by 27 May, but Dr. Burg said Israel would allow no compromise over the issue of Jerusalem.
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Background: President Anwar Sadat of Egypt decided on Thursday (15 May) top spurn renewed negotiations with Israel on Palestinian autonomy. A spokesman attributed President Sadat's decision to what he called Israel's "completely negative" attitude to comprehensive peace negotiations, and to legislation introduced in Jerusalem part of the Israel capital. At the same time the Egyptian government called for a new initiative from Washington to break this latest deadlock in the autonomy talks.
SYNOPSIS: Cairo's new position on the autonomy talks came only a day after President Sadat had told the Egyptian People's Assembly (Parliament) that negotiations with Israel would be resumed. In a major policy speech he announced that he will take over the premiership from Mustapha Khalil, who had resigned two days earlier.
President Sadat said he would lead a new government charged with drawing up a series of internal reforms. His new cabinet will devote itself to improving living conditions, to developing the economy, and to strengthening national unity.
The week before speaking here, the President has asked for the autonomy talks to be suspended, but he said here he'd agreed to Washington's urging to resume them. Yet, the day after the President addressed the assembly, his Foreign Minster, Dr. Butros Ghali, said the negotiations had been suspended once more. It was Cairo's view that a new Israeli Bill to make east Jerusalem part of the Jewish capital amounted to annexation. The Egyptians called this development "an important crisis". They felt is shoed, along with Israel's continuing settlements policy, that the Israelis lacked the will to strive whole-heartedly for peace. When President Sadat was speaking here, he had not learnt of the Israeli legislation.
East jerusalem, the site of Islam's third-holiest shrine, is of great significance to Moslems. Israel, however, insists that its capital should not be divided.