A group of 22 United States Congressmen met with President Anwar Sadat in Cairo on Thursday (November 22), at the start of a three-day fact-finding mission to Egypt.
A group of 22 United States Congressmen met with President Anwar Sadat in Cairo on Thursday (November 22), at the start of a three-day fact-finding mission to Egypt. The group, members of the House of Representatives, had previously been to Israel.
This was the first American Congressional visit since Egypt broke diplomatic relations with the U.S. following the 1967 Arab-Israel war. The delegation was led by Congressman Samuel Stratton, a Democrat from New York. Their three days in Egypt included a visit to the People's Assembly (Parliament), where they met Speaker Hafez Badawy. They also toured the ceasefire line at the Suez Canal front. Before flying back to the U.S., they went to see the Aswan High Dam in Upper Egypt.
The congressmen's meeting with President Sadat was attended by Speaker Sadawy, Major-General Saad Mamoun, the Assistant War Minister, and Mr. Abdel Fattah Abdullah, Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs. The discussions were believed to cover the Middle East situation and U.S. Arab relations, but no details were released.
A number of U.S. Congressmen have called for an American boycott of the Arab countries, in relation for the oil embargo. Egypt would be among the most vulnerable, having to import large quantities of grain. Senator Hubert Humphrey, the former Vice-President, warned that the oil embargo could lead to widespread starvation in African and Asia as a result of reduced U.S. food production due to the fuel shortage.
Both Dr. Henry Kissinger, the U.S. Secretary of State and his top deputy, Mr. William Porter, have bluntly warned that reprisals would be considered if the oil embargo continued. Mr. Porter said, "....economic blackmail in any form, with any commodity, will be a two edged sword, hurting those who wield it as well as the intended victims."