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Shamir Urges Direct Talks With Jordan

November 23, 1987|From Reuters

WASHINGTON — Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir said Sunday that Jordan and Israel could reach a peace accord if they held direct talks with no preconditions.

"If King Hussein, for instance, comes to negotiate with me and my friends, my Israeli friends, and without any preconditions, it means that any one of us is free to suggest and bring any proposals," Shamir said in a televised interview on CBS' "Face the Nation."

"Then I am sure that we will get an understanding. It will take time. We will have to overcome some difficulties, some gaps. But in the end we will reach an agreed solution," he said.

Jordan's King Hussein has long campaigned for an international conference convened by the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council--Britain, China, France, the Soviet Union and the United States.

No Need for Soviets

Shamir, who opposes the idea of an international conference, said there is no need for Soviet involvement in Mideast peace efforts.

"Why bring the Soviets into this conference? How could you rely on them?" he said. "I don't think we need to negotiate with the Soviet Union. We have to make peace with the Arab countries, not with the Soviet Union."

Shamir said the talks must proceed "without the interference of foreign factors or factors from outsiders." But he added, "I would not mind . . . some American assistance."

Shamir said he believes Jordan is pushing for an international conference partly because this would not be in Israel's best interest.

"I will tell you the truth. As long as the agenda exists for this option of an international conference, King Hussein will reject any other proposal," Shamir said.

"Because he thinks that this option of an international conference is the best for him. It is not the best for us, and therefore he has to take into consideration our demands and our interests also."

Shamir is on a visit to Washington. He met with President Reagan last week.

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