Egypt's acting foreign number minister, Boutros Ghali, said today there would be "no peace treaty" between Egypt and Israel unless an agreement on the future of the West Bank and Gaza Strip is signed "the same day".
He said the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel would have to be accompanied by a "complementary treaty in the form of an exchange of identical letters" specifying that negotiations toward the establishment of an autonomous Palestinian authority would begin within a month and setting a date for elections.
The proposals that Egypt conveyed to Israel through U.S. Secretary of Stare Cyprus Vance last week, with American concurrence. Ghali said, called for West Bank and Gaza Strip elections to be held by the end of 1979. That may no longer be possible, he said, but some date would have to be specified.
Ghali spoke to reporters shortly after Egypt's prime minister, Mustapha Khalil, left for Burssels to meet U.S. Secretary of State Cyprus Vance and Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan.
The purpose of that meeting is to find some basis for a resumption of negotiations on the remaining issues blocking the signing of a treaty. But, as stated by Ghali today, the Egyptian position remains exactly as it was when Vance delivered Egypt's proposals to the Israelis a week ago and the Israelis flatly rejected them.
Ghali said Egypt remains in "continous contact" with Palestinian representatives inside the occupied territories and outside, including the Palestine Liberation Organization, about the proposal for Palestinian autonomy in the West Bank an the Gaza Strip.
What Egypt envisions, Ghali said, is the creation of a single elected Palestinian authorities to govern both territories and become the basis for a future Palestinian entity." Egypt remained willing, he said, to start with elections in the Gaza Strip alone as a first step" that would "encourage the Palestinians in the West Bank to participate" in a process they have so far spurned.
Asked what would happen if, as the Israelis say they fear, it proved impossible to find any Palestinians willing to participate in the negotiations or run for any office set up as a result, Ghali replied that nothing "nothing is impossible."
If the Israelis agreed to the procedure, he said, Egypt would find a way to ensure that the Palestinians took part.
Ghali said that Egypt would be willing at the Brussels meeting to consider "new procedures" to break the negotiating impasse. But he added that whatever was done would have to be within the framework of the Camp David agreements.
He said, as President Anwar Sadat has already declared, that Egypt would not give Israel preferential treatment or special status in its relationship with Egypt. The Israelis, he said, wanted a guarantee that they would be able to buy a certain quantity of oil from the fields in the Sinai, but Egypt refused.
Ghali expressed Egypt's "hope" that Israel would not build any more "colonies" in the West Bank or Gaza Strip during the transition to Palestinian autonomy. But even if new settlements are established, he said, Egypt regards Israel's commitment to dismantle its settlements in the Sinai as precedent for the other territories.
Ghali said Egypt accepted the invitation to the Brussels talks, even without any assurances that anything will come of them, to "prove to public opinion that we are sincere in our quest for peace".
Egyptian officials from Sadat on down have benn letting their irritation at the Israelis show, and the good will that followed the Camp David agreements in September has been dissipated. The prevailling opinion here, however, is that Egypt has no alternative and will continue to seek for peace on the terms outlined by Acting Foreign Minister Ghali today, or something close to them