Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir rejected any participation in an international conference on the Palestinian issue and expressed confidence that the United States also would oppose it.
Shamir said Sunday he is going to ask the United States to give the Soviet Union a Most Favored Nation tariff in light of the Soviet economic need and the eased Soviet conditions for Jewish immigration to Israel.In an appearance on the CBS program "Face the Nation," Shamir foreshadowed the position he will take in talks this week in Washington with President Bush and Secretary of State James Baker.
Shamir said of the U.N.-sponsored international conference on the Middle East, "This is not the way to get peace. You have to go through a process of negotiation, with both parties having to agree. An international conference would only try to impose a solution."
In an earlier appearance on ABC's "This Week with David Brinkley," Baker said the United States is working hard at the United Nations to head off an international conference on the Palestinian issue now because it would imply a linkage between the settlement of the Persian Gulf crisis with negotiations on the future of the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Baker, however, reiterated that an international conference on the Middle East, properly structured and at a suitable time, might be useful.
Shamir said, "We have long experience that if we keep to our just position, it will prevail. We want peace, but an international conference is the way to escape peace."
Israel, he said, "will not be part of such a deal."
Shamir said, "There could be some difference in views" with the United States, but he added that he didn't think the United States was pulling away from its current position.