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Jimmy Carter Administration: Remarks on Departure for Trip to Egypt and Israel

(March 7, 1979)

I have a statement to read, which has been drafted jointly by the Prime Minister of Egypt and the Foreign Minister of Israel, and it is expressed from my own point of view.

During the past week, I, as President, have kept in close touch with the negotiations at Camp David, and Secretary Vance, Prime Minister Khalil, and Foreign Minister Dayan have now given me a firsthand report on their talks.

In light of the developments in the talks at Camp David this past week, we are discussing with the two governments the possibility of moving these negotiations to the head-of-government level later this week. Prime Minister Begin would then represent Israel, and Prime Minister Khalil, who has been authorized by President Sadat to conclude the negotiations on behalf of Egypt, would represent Egypt.

I would be going to Camp David with Prime Minister Begin and Prime Minister Khalil, accompanied by Secretary Vance. Prime Minister Khalil is leaving this afternoon for Cairo for consultations. Foreign Minister Dayan is returning to Israel this evening to report to the Prime Minister and to the Cabinet.

I am prepared to spare no effort in achieving the peace settlement foreseen in the Camp David accords reached last year. The other two partners in these negotiations share this determination.

Thank you very much.

Sources: Public Papers of the President