The twenty-thousand-strong Soviet military team in Egypt was preparing to leave on Wednesday (July 19) after being ousted by Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.
The twenty-thousand-strong Soviet military team in Egypt was preparing to leave on Wednesday (July 19) after being ousted by Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. Several of its members had already embarked for home.
The surprise move, which came in President Sadat's announcement to the Arab Socialist Union's Central Committee the day before, was superficially received calmly by the Soviet Government and its military experts in Egypt. For while Soviet press reports played down the move, and stressed the continuing importance of the 15-year friendship treaty signed between the two countries only a year ago, a 25-man Soviet sports mission arrived in Cairo on the same day (Wednesday) to take part in an 'Egyptian-Soviet Friendship Week'.
The Soviet personnel and their families in Egypt, meanwhile, spent their time hurriedly buying souvenirs while making preparations to leave. All of them are expected to be out by Sunday's (July 23) 20th anniversary of the overthrow of the Egyptian monarchy.