Syria and Jordan accused Israel yesterday of hindering U.S. efforts to achieve peace in the Middle East. In Jerusalem, however, Israeli officials said that the next concession in the attempts to reconvene peace talks in Geneva must come from the Arabs.
Syrian Foreign Minister Abdel Halim Khaddam, speaking to the U.N. General Assembly, accused Israel of putting "obstacles" in the way of President expelling Israel from the United Nations.
Jordan's special envoy, Abdual Hamid Sharaf, said at a press conference in Washington that Israel have been meeting with U.S. officals in efforts to bring about a Middle East peace conference this year.
Secretary of State Cyrus Vance met yesterday with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ismail Fahmi as part of the round of discussions. Vance expects to meet with Arab and Israeli officials again in the next few days.
Fahmi, as did Sharaf and Khaddam, commended the U.S. intermediary role and said that Vance had reflected "the seriousness with which the United States is working to convene" talks in Geneva.
Israeli officals sasid, however, that there will be no further progress toward Geneva unless the Arabs modify their position on Palestinian representation at the talks.
Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan is expected to inform Vance today, according to Reuter. That Israel has gone as far as it can in agreeing to deal with the Palestinians and will make no futher concessions.
Israel announced Sunday that it had accepted a U.S. proposal by which Palestinians would form part of a unified opening of the talks and that they would then be attached to the Jordanian delegation for bilateral talks on specific issues. The proposal, as accepted by Israel, provided for no representation of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
Israeli Prime Minister Menahem Begin said yesterday that Israel had accepted the U. S. proposal "word for word" as Carter had presented it.
Arab officials reiterated, however, that they expected Palestinian representation in all discussions of substance at the talks.
Asked whether this representation must be PLO or merely Palestinian, Sharaf said yesterday that this should be decided in "inter-Arab consultations." The Arab participants, he said, had "nuances of difference" as to the procedural arrangements for the Geneva talks. He did not give details.
Speaking on NBC-TV's "Today" program, Dayan said yesterday that the United States had given Israel a commitment that the Palestinians would not be represented by the PLO at Geneva.
He said Israel was surprised that the United States had not officially denied a statement Wednesday by Khaddam after a meeting with Carter that Carter had agreed on the possibility of PLO representation.