Shamir Seeks Meeting With Hussein, Murphy Leaves For Egypt
TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) _ Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir appealed to King Hussein of Jordan for a summit meeting after he was briefed by U.S. envoy Richard Murphy, who met with the king in Amman.
Murphy, who talked with Shamir on Thursday, met today with Israeli Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin. U.S. embassy officials in Tel Aviv declined comment on Murphy’s immediate destination after he left the meeting with Rabin.
The assistant U.S. secretary of state is on a two-week tour of the region in an effort to revitalize the Middle East peace process and is scheduled to arrive in Egypt on Saturday.
Details of Murphy’s meeting with Rabin were not disclosed.
″I call on King Hussein ... to meet me face to face,″ Shamir said in remarks broadcast Thursday on Israel television. ″We must decide that there is no alternative to direct talks.″
Hussein repeated to Murphy that he wants an international peace conference to be attended by all parties concerned and the five members of the U.N. Security Council - the United States, the Soviet Union, China, Britain and France.
Shamir was quoted as saying such a conference was a throwback to the 19th century when ″imperialistic powers ruled the world. In our days such forces of peace cannot work and we must conduct direct negotiations.″
The prime minister made his remarks during a conference in Sodom, near the Dead Sea, on ″Conflict in Regions of Conflict.″ The conference was sponsored by members of the U.S. Democratic Party.
″The United States knows that public and private declarations on the desire for peace do not necessarily lead to peace,″ Shamir was quoted as saying.
Murphy said after his 75-minute meeting with Shamir, ″This was a time of continued quiet diplomacy. This is the continuation of a constant search for peace among our friends in the Middle East.″
Murphy also met Thursday with Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, who said later he understood the Jordanians were interested in renewing the peace process.
″So are we,″ said Peres. ″We continue to go to work.″
In addition to a forum for peace talks, another unresolved issue is participation of the Palestinians living in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Hussein wants the Palestinians to be represented by the Palestine Liberation Organization.
Israeli officials have rejected the demand, saying the PLO is a terrorist group bent on destroying Israel. Israel has agreed in principle to meet with a joint delegation of Jordanians and Palestinians who do not belong to the PLO.
Yoseph Ben Aharon, director-general of Shamir’s office, told Israel television’s Arabic-language program Thursday night that Shamir wants to establish a representative body for Palestinians in the occupied territories.
″Let’s begin the first stage of establishing some kind of body which will represent these areas. We’ll talk ... about achieving the first stage of true representation of these areas so that we can move the (peace) agreement forward with them and with Jordan,″ he said.
Ben Aharon said Shamir planned to meet with several Palestinian mayors to discuss the representative body. Ben Aharon also said he believed a three-way summit of the leaders of Israel, Jordan and Egypt was possible.
Murphy’s shuttle mission from Amman, Jordan, to Tel Aviv to Cairo is the first since Shamir, leader of the right-wing Likud bloc, became prime minister Oct. 20 under an agreement with the bloc’s coalition partner, the Labor Party. Labor leader Peres, who had been prime minister, now has Shamir’s former job as foreign minister.
Murphy spent two days in Jordan before arriving in Israel on Thursday.
Israeli officials have said they do not expect tangible results from the mission. In the Israeli view, Murphy’s trip has the equally important goal of restoring U.S. credibility among Jordan and Egypt, moderate Arab nations angered by revelations of U.S. arms sales to Iran.