Syrian President Hafez Al-Assad bitterly attacked the United States and Egypt on Monday (13 August) accusing them of destroying efforts for a comprehensive peace settlement in the Middle East.
Syrian President Hafez Al-Assad bitterly attacked the United States and Egypt on Monday (13 August) accusing them of destroying efforts for a comprehensive peace settlement in the Middle East. President Assad was addressing a banquet in honour of Rumanian President Nicolae Ceausescu who had arrived ni Damascus on Monday (13 August) for a five day official visit.
SYNOPSIS: President Ceausescu is in Damascus for talks on the relationship between Rumania and Syria, and the overall situation in the Middle East. Syria is one of the frontline states opposing the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty and Ceausescu's host President Assad, made it clear that he opposes American influence in the Middle East. Soon after the Rumanian President arrived, President Assad condemned the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty. He questioned "the kind of peace the treaty could bring when it was accompanied by continued threats to attack Arab oil-producing countries and to occupy their oilfields?"
And oil will also be discussed between the two presidents. Rumania once self-sufficient in oil, has become an importer and is anxiously seeking new sources of supply. In common with some western countries and a few of its communist neighbours, Rumania was hit by the political turmoil which shut down the oil fields of Iran from which it imported up to five million tonnes of crude a year.
Political observers believe Ceausescu will try and impress on Syria his country's need for secure supplies of crude oil. The oil shortage in Rumania has forced the government to ban driving on alternate weekends in an effort to conserve petrol supplies. Rumania has concentrated its efforts on securing crude supplies from Arabian countries. Last April Ceausescu visited Libya where persuaded Colonel Mummar Gaddafi to increase Libya's shipments of crude oil to Rumania.