President Anwar Sadat returned to Egypt (13 February) after an eight-nation tour to seek support for his Middle East peace initiative.
President Anwar Sadat returned to Egypt (13 February) after an eight-nation tour to seek support for his Middle East peace initiative. Earlier in the day he told reporters in Paris that he felt 'very encouraged' by his trip although he had begun with concern about faltering prospects for peace.
SYNOPSIS: Before arriving back in Cairo President Sadat had started the day in France and then flown the Rome for talks with Italian leaders and Pope Paul. His trip had taken just 11 days.
Egyptian newspapers described the tour as a success and said President Sadat had won more understanding for his peace efforts. The semi-official Al-Ahram said one result was that a wedge had been driven between the United States and Israel. The newspaper referred to American criticism of Israeli settlements in occupied Arab territories and Israel's sharp reaction to the American comments. It said Mr Sadat's visit to Washington had resulted in an 'acute crisis' between Israel and the U.S. Another newspaper commented that the President returned more determined to work to achieve peace and added that Arab rights had won more understanding, consolidation and support.
President Sadat embarked on his tour following the collapse of political talk with Israel in January. Egypt blamed the failure of the political negotiations in Jerusalem on Israeli 'intransigence' over its settlements in occupied Arab territory and the Palestinians' future.