The US President, Jimmy Carter, once again salvaged the Arab-Israeli peace talks by persuading the Egyptian President Anwar Sadat not to withdraw his delegation for consultations as the Israelis did. However, the basic causes dividing the Egyptians and the Israelis remain and Secretary of State Cyrus Vance admitted after talking to the two sides (the Israelis left behind their officials) that the Israeli decision to expand the existing West Bank settlements had certainly retarded progress in the talks. Carter, alarmed by the sudden Israeli intransigence and Sadat’s anger over the settlements issue and Prime Minister Begin’s announcements that he would move his offices to the area of Jerusalem which the Arabs hope to reclaim, cabled Sadat to leave his top negotiators here. A few hours earlier, Sadat had decided to recall them. Later, he cabled his delegation and informed Carter he told them, “whatever my friend Jimmy Carter wants you to do that is what I want you to do”.
The Akali Dal demanded suitable amendments in the Constitution to provide for a “true federal structure” wherein Centre-State relations and their rights were re-defined. The political resolution adopted unanimously by the 18th All-India Akali conference has also reiterated the party’s plea for state autonomy in a federal set-up in line with its Anandpur Sahib resolution. A true federal structure was necessary for clearing the way for economic, progress, besides ensuring a sense of security to religious and linguistic minorities, it added.
Deaths In UP
The mystery disease, now confirmed as the Japanese viral encephalitis, claimed two lives in Meerut. The death toll has officially amounted to 445 in 15 afflicted districts of Uttar Pradesh. Gorakhpur district tops the list of the affected districts with 850 cases and 150 deaths reported from hospitals.