In Alexandria, President Anwar Sadat dramatically highlighted Egyptian concern over Soviet influence in Africa announcing at a May Day rally he was sending pilots to help fight the invasion in Zaire.
GV: Ras Eltine Palace
INTERIOR MV: Sadat enters cabinet room and takes place at table.
MV: Foreign Minister Fahmy seated.
MV: War Minister General Gamassi seated.
MV: Sadat seated at table.
GVs: Sadat in open car driving to stadium with crowds cheering. (3 shots)
MV: runners with lighted torches run past watched by Sadat. (2 shots)
MV: labourers march past Sadat. (2 shots)
MV: float with giant tap.
MV: President Sadat delivers speech.
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Background: In Alexandria, President Anwar Sadat dramatically highlighted Egyptian concern over Soviet influence in Africa announcing at a May Day rally he was sending pilots to help fight the invasion in Zaire.
President Sadat also expressed particular anger over a "threatening" note he said Moscow had sent to Arab capitals accusing Egypt of trying to provoke subversive activities against the Libyan Jamahiriya. The note was published in Egyptian newspapers this week but Moscow has not acknowledged its existence. However, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi referred to it in his May Day speech.
SYNOPSIS: Before the rally, President Sadat convened a special cabinet meeting at the Ras Eltine Palace in the Nile River City. The move to send the Egyptian pilots to Zaire was discussed and also strained relations with the Libyan Jamahiriyah, formerly Libya. Hundreds of workers in the Libyan Jamahiriya returned to Egypt in the past few days following the termination of their contracts there.
From the meeting, President Sadat drove to the Alexandria Stadium where he was greeted by 25,000 people taking part in the international day for workers rally. It was a colourful and peaceful rally. But there was an air of excitement as the President's speech had been predicted to be especially significant.
The crowds cheered when they heard of the decision to send pilots to help President Mobutu Sese Seko fight the invasion of his country. President Sadat said he had sent President Mobutu a message saying he would help operate the air force but could not send troops because he was still committed to a battle. Egypt is still technically at war with Israel. The Egyptian leaders's announcement came towards the end of a 90-minute speech devoted almost exclusively to an attack on the Soviet Union. He accused the Soviets of being behind the invasion and said it was direct threat to Sudan, Egypt and the resources of the Nile.