Prime Minister Mamdouh Salem told the Egyptian parliament in Cairo on Sunday (4 December) that Egypt was not seeking a separate or partial Middle East solution with Israel.
Prime Minister Mamdouh Salem told the Egyptian parliament in Cairo on Sunday (4 December) that Egypt was not seeking a separate or partial Middle East solution with Israel. He said such a solution would contradict Egypt's historical role and its leading position in the Arab world.
SYNOPSIS: Premier Salem enters the People's Assembly where he was to outline government policy. He has praised as 'courageous initiative' President Anwar Sadat's visit to Jerusalem and his calling a summit conference in Cairo. Mr. Salem believe that President Sadat's stand on a Middle East settlement has been consistent. In Jerusalem, the President had said there would be no territorial concessions, no ceding of Jerusalem and no abandoning the demand for the Palestinian people's right.
Mr. Salem told the parliament that Egypt had shouldered the brunt of the fighting in wars over the past 25 years. It could not now give up any Arab rights, because it placed the higher Arab interest above anything else. Rejectionist fronts and side issues would not distract his country from this main cause.
Prime Minister Salem said the United States, through its relationship with Israel, had a special responsibility, which was even stronger after President Sadat's initiative. He felt that, with a new horizon opened up, the United States should act to move the Middle East towards a state of peace based on justice. Mr. Salem seemed to be indicating that the time had come for Washington to put pressure on Israel to make concessions to the Arabs.
Premier Salem spoke of Western European support for President Sadat's initiative and said the willingness of western countries to invest in Egypt proved their trust in his country. Egypt had to be prepared and was sparing no effort to consolidate the military potential of its armed forces. The Egyptian armed forces, he said, were now better than they were before the war of October, 1973. This heavy defence spending, and world currency fluctuations, had aggravated Egypt's economic problems.