Egypt's President Anwar Sadat has accused leaders of the countries left-wing opposition of booing "Soviet agents and traitors".
Egypt's President Anwar Sadat has accused leaders of the countries left-wing opposition of booing "Soviet agents and traitors". The attack follows a government statement saying no progress had been made in recent talks aimed at improving relations between Egypt and the Soviet Union.
The Moscow meetings between Mr. Fahmi and Mr. Gromyko from June 8 to June 11 had been taken as the first sign for over a year of a reproachement. On June 18 President Sadat sent a noticeably warm message to Mr. Brezhnev congratulating him on becoming the new Soviet president. Relations between the two countries deteriorated badly after President Sadat expelled about 20-thousand Soviet advisers in 1972. In March last year he asked the Egyptian parliament to abrogate the 15-year Soviet friendship treaty signed in 1971. He accused the Soviet Union of having broken promises to supply Egypt with weapons it badly needed during the 1973 war with Israel.
SYNOPSIS: President Sadat's accusations were reported by the Middle East News Agency when he met a group of journalists in Alexandria on Sunday (26 June).
The Egyptian leader was accompanied by Vice President Hosny Mubarak, Prime Minister Mamdouh Salem and Information Minister Abdel Moneim El-Sawi. Mr. Sadat's remarks were directed at leaders of the left-wing Unionist Progressive Party, which was one of three parties set up last year by the government.
Speaking in Arabic, President Sadat was reported as saying that the leadership of the Progressive Unionists were Communists and agents of the Soviet Union. He used the word "traitors" and said he would never tolerate them. According to the news agency, he said he wanted the left in Egypt to be an Egyptian and not a Soviet left.
The "no progress" statement on the talks in Moscow between Egypt's Foreign Minister Ismail Fahmi and Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko was issued by the government towards the end of last week. (23 June). According to some observers however it was not as negative as it might at first have appeared. It was seen as indicating that there was a long way to go in ending the freeze in relations rather than a further deterioration.