According to informed sources, Egypt is awaiting the outcome of the Damascus meeting of its hardline Arab opponents before deciding whether to attend an Arab summit on Israel's invasion of southern Lebanon.
According to informed sources, Egypt is awaiting the outcome of the Damascus meeting of its hardline Arab opponents before deciding whether to attend an Arab summit on Israel's invasion of southern Lebanon. Arab League officials in Cairo said on Monday (20 March) that 10 sates had so far agreed to attend the summit meeting, called by an emergency League session last Thursday (16 March). Five members of the so-called "Steadfastness Front" -- Syria, Algeria, South Yemen, the Libyan Jamahiriya??? and the Palestine Liberation Organisation -- are discussing their own views of the Israeli invasion. Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohammed Ibrahim Kamel speaking at a special session of the People's Assembly in Cairo on Sunday (19 March) said Egypt agreed in principle to efforts to convene Arab meetings on the Israeli assault, but these were not goals in themselves.
SYNOPSIS: Mr. Kamel told members of the People's Assembly that Israel's invasion of southern Lebanon was an obstacle to a just Arab - Israeli settlement, such as Egyptian President Anwar Sadat sought with his peace initiative last year. This initiative, he said, put Israel in a difficult position, and it was now trying to divert world attention. Attempts at expansion, he said, would achieve nothing but a continuation of war.
Mr. Kamel said the Israeli invasion of southern Lebanon had been planned long ago, and was not a reply to the Palestinian guerrilla raid on central Israel. Egypt, he announced, supported stationing United Nations troops in southern Lebanon, and it agreed in principles to hold Arab meetings, including an Arab summit on the invasion. He said Israel's real security could be achieved only by allowing the Palestinians "their legitimate rights, foremost of which is the right to self-determination". Israel instead had embarked on a policy of systematic extermination, He said.
Informed sources have said that Egypt's final decision whether or not to attend an Arab summit was expected to come after next Saturday's meeting of its policy making body, the National Security Council, called by Mr. Sadat to discuss the invasion. The influential newspaper Al-Gomhouria said Egypt had agreed in principle.