Israeli Peace Initiative Calls For Direct Talks
Prime Minister Shimon Peres today unveiled a new Israeli peace initiative calling for Israeli negotiators to begin direct peace talks with a Jordanian-Palestinian delegation within three months.
Peres told a packed session of the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, that there should be direct negotiations “among equals.” He said the talks, “between those who want peace and not those who want the dispute to be perpetuated,” should be conducted without prior conditions.
But Peres reiterated Israel’s opposition to preliminary contacts between U.S. officials and a Jordanian-Palestinian delegation. (Story on Page 9.)
No PLO Members Wanted
And he again emphasized that no members of the Palestine Liberation Organization could be in the Jordanian-Palestinian delegation.
The five-step plan outlined by Peres in his 25-minute address called for:
--Continuation of the talks conducted by U.S. representatives with representatives of Israel, Jordan and Egypt as well as Palestinian delegates who are not members of the PLO.
--Formation of a small team made up of Jordanian-Palestinian and Israeli delegates to prepare an agenda for a Jordanian-Palestinian-Israeli conference with the participation of the United states.
--Enlisting the support of the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council for direct negotiations between Jordan, a Palestinian delegation and Israel without any Security Council permanent member commiting itself in advance to back the position of any of the sides.
--Naming authentic Palestinian delegates from the occupied territories to represent the positions of the residents.
--Convening of the opening session of the conference within three months in a mutually agreed-upon venue in the United States, Europe or the Middle East.