President Sadat says he plans to postpone repayment of Egypt's huge debts to the Soviet Union, for ten years.
President Sadat says he plans to postpone repayment of Egypt's huge debts to the Soviet Union, for ten years. In a long speech on Nasser Day - last Wednesday (28 September) - President Sadat consistently attack the Soviet Union and implied that Moscow was behind recent religious troubles in Egypt.
SYNOPSIS: At the headquarters of the Arab Socialist Union in Cairo, President Sadat addressed a joint meeting of the Union's Central Committee and the People's Assembly, or Parliament Mr Sadat spoke for over two hours, and spent much of the time attacking the Soviet Union.
Mrs Sadat was among those who heard the speech - one of the strongest attacks to date on the Soviet Union by the Egyptian President. Mr. Sadat said the Soviet attitude to Egypt was motivated by anger because it had failed to make Cairo subservient to Moscow. He implied that Moscow was behind the religious troubles earlier this month between Copts and Moslems aimed at destroying Egyptian unity.
It was the first official reference to the troubles, but the President said plots to blow up churches and mosques had been crushed.
In the speech, on the seventh anniversary of President Nasser's death, President Sadat announced his intention of delaying repayment of Egypt's massive debts to the Soviet Union, unofficially estimated at more than five billion pounds sterling (approx. 9 billion US dollars) Quoting from the Koran he said God does not impose on anybody more than he can endure. It was Egypt's only alternative, he said, and recalled that the Soviets had a period of grace from America to repay debts after World War Two. Egypt's past attempts to have the debt re-scheduled have failed.