Former Israeli defense minister Ezer Weizman conferred with Secretary of State George P. Shultz yesterday and suggested that Shultz should try to increase his efforts to improve Israeli-Egyptian relations, Israeli officials said yesterday.
They said that in the talks, Weizman, now a minister without portfolio in Prime Minister Shimon Peres' coalition government, stressed Israel's interest in resolving the Taba land dispute in the Sinai Peninsula and also urged new U.S. efforts to improve the "cold peace" between Israel and Egypt.
State Department legal adviser Abraham D. Sofaer currently is in the Middle East as head of a U.S. delegation meeting with Israelis and Egyptians trying to reach agreement on procedures for arbitrating the Taba dispute, which centers on a 250-acre slice of beachfront on the Gulf of Aqaba at the Israel-Egypt border.
The strip of land was retained by Israel when it turned the rest of the Sinai over to Egypt in 1982. Egypt has made it clear that relations with Israel would not be fully normalized until the territorial dispute is resolved.
The Israeli officials said Weizman had come to deliver a series of lectures at the National War College and was invited by Shultz for informal conversations on Thursday and yesterday. They noted that Weizman was not here as a special emissary and was not carrying any special messages or requests from Peres.