WASHINGTON: The State Department announced on Friday [Aug 7] that Israel and Egypt have accepted the U.S. proposal for a standstill cease-fire to take effect at 6 p.m. (23.00 GMT) today. …

State Department Press Officer Robert McCloskey issued this brief announcement in Washington of the agreement for a cease-fire of at least 90 days, aimed at allowing talks to get started on a long-term Mid-East peace settlement. “We have just been informed by the Governments of the United Arab Republic and Israel of their acceptance … We welcome this statesmanlike action taken by the leaders of the Governments concerned. We hope this decision will advance the prospects for a just and lasting peace in the Middle East.”

The State Department spokesman said he could not go into any details at this time as to how the cease-fire will be organised nor did he have any immediate word concerning the proposed settlement talks, which are to be under the supervision of the United Nations Mediator Gunnar Jarring. Jarring has been in contact with the Mid-East rivals on setting up the talks. Asked whether New York would be all right as a start point from the U.S. standpoint, Mr McCloskey said that the U.S. was supporting whatever Jarring desires on that score.

Published in Dawn, August 8th, 2020