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Volume 978: debated on Wednesday 13 February 1980

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asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will pay an official visit to Cairo.

While we await the visit of the Foreign Secretary to Egypt, and no doubt to Israel, will the Minister take this opportunity to reaffirm our firm and continued support for the peace process between Egypt and Israel and for its continuation? Will the Minister publicly welcome, in particular, the remarkable normalisation of relations between those old foes signalled this month by the exchange of ambassadors?

We certainly support the Camp David treaty and the negotiations that have flowed from it. We also welcome the normalisation. We now look forward to something equally important, namely substantial progress in the autonomy talks. We believe that such progress is necessary if the peace process is to be established and continued.

If the Foreign Secretary visits Cairo will he raise with President Sad at the lack of progress on linkage following the Camp David negotiations? Will the Foreign Secretary put forward the possibility of a European initiative, which would suggest a period of international trusteeship for the West Bank and Gaza?

We have no wish to cut across the current peace efforts, which we support. We are considering with our European partners ways in which we might help the peace process forward.