The fifth summit meeting of the 84 non-aligned nations opened in the Sri Lanka capital of Colombo on Monday (16 August) with President Anwar Sadat of Egypt demanding a new hard line against Israel and white regimes in southern Africa.
The fifth summit meeting of the 84 non-aligned nations opened in the Sri Lanka capital of Colombo on Monday (16 August) with President Anwar Sadat of Egypt demanding a new hard line against Israel and white regimes in southern Africa. On Sunday (15 August), the last of the Heads of State and Prime Ministers arrived at Bandaranaike airport to take part in the summit.
SYNOPSIS: The official welcoming of delegations took on a military precision with a plane landing about every 30 minutes. One of those arriving was President Siaka Stevens of Sierra Leone who was greeted by the Sri Lankan President, William Gopallawa. But as the leaders were arriving, a preparatory meeting of foreign ministers was still trying to resolve several disputes which threaten to undermine the unity of the four day conference. The summit meeting is expected to draw up a political and economic declaration, setting out the non-aligned group's position on southern Africa, the Middle East, Korea, Israel and the Indian Ocean. However, the wide range of topics is expected to lead to a conflict of views over the treatment of the problems.
The United Nations Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim is attending the summit as an observer. He told reporters that he was sure the summit would make an important contribution to the United Nations work for peace and international security. This was clearly a reflection of the group's wide based membership.
President Houari Boumedienne of Algeria was also greeted at the airport by President Gopallawa. Six members of the Algerian-backed Polisario Independence Front of the Western Sahara turned up as university guests to the conference. One of their group, Abdul Fettah, said they hoped to lobby their cause among the non-aligned countries.
One of those who didn't travel to Sir Lanka by plane was yugoslav President, Josip Broz Tito. The yugoslav leader was one of the founder members of the non-aligned grouping of the world's nations. His yacht - the Galeb - was joined in Colombo harbour by the Mangyongbong, which carried the North Korean delegation. Their arrival completed the long list of delegates. The leaders are now faced with reaching agreement before presenting their political and economic declaration to the rest of the world.