Israeli Defense Minister Ezer Weizman and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat met in Ismailia today to discuss the handover by Israel of El Arish, the Sinai capital, and other steps toward normal relations.
Their meeting came a day after the peace treaty between the two countries formally took effect with the exchange of ratification instruments in a ceremony in the Sinai.
Weizman, speaking to reporters after his talks with Sadat, said that "the main discussion focused on the event of May 27 when President Sadat, [Israeli Prime Minister] Begin and myself will be in El Arish for the handling-over ceremony.
He said discussions also dealt with the next steps for normalizing relations between Egypt and Israel now that the peace treaty has gone into effect.
In Israel, officials began moving toward normal relations with Egypt after the expected opening of the border between the two countries late next month.
Israeli Foreign Ministry officials said Director General Josef Chechanover, who was in New York preparing to go to an Israeli diplomatic conference in Latin America, had been order home to set up an "Egyptian desk" in the Foreign Ministry.
The desk will handle consular affairs such as visas, cultural and scientific exchanges and economic and transport issues, the ministry officials said.
Israeli Communications Ministry officials said, however, that Israel would make no immediate move to test its new right to send ships through the Suez Canal. Such a trip is not likely, they said, until borders between the two countries have been opened.
Meanwhile, Lebanon, Morocco and Bahrain broke diplomatic relations with Egypt, joining 11 other Arab countries that have severed relations to show their opposition to the Egyptian Israeli peace treaty. CAPTION: Picture, Sadat, right, and Weizman chat after talks in Ismailia. UPI