John Anderson, the independent US presidential candidate, took up the campaign trail in Israel Tuesday and announced he was not happy at the slow pace of the Middle East peace process.
Arriving here at the start of a five-nation tour, he embarked on a crowded schedule of meetings with Israeli leaders, both in office and in the opposition.
Upon arrival Mr. Anderson said he had undertaken "this fact-finding visit to pick up ideas on how we can speed up the peace process." Asked how his policies would differ from Mr. Carter's, he said: "I am not happy at the pace of the peace process and with some statements made by the President and administration officials. I happen to believe more in quiet diplomacy than in unilateral declarations."
His other remarks, however, stuck closely to established American positions. He repeated the view that the Palestine Liberation Organization cannot be a partner in peace talks "until it renounces terrorism and fully accepts Israel as an independent state."
Talking about Israeli pressures for the US Embassy to be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Mr. Anderson said he agreed that this should be done, but only "as a final step in the peace progress."
After a round of meetings Tuesday with leading members of the Knesset (parliament), he was due today (July 9) to see Shimon Peres, leader of the opposition Labor Party, and former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, chief rival for Mr. Peres's job. This will be followed by a visit to Etzion Air Base in Sinai. Thursday Mr. Anderson will tour the occupied West Bank. He will wind up his Israeli visit Friday with a tour of Jerusalem.