President Sadat of the United Arab Republic has warned that the chances of peace in the Middle East still appear very slim.
LV Israeli troops stationed on east bank of Suez Canal
GV bunkers for Egyptian troops and PAN to Israeli troops opposite
Travelling shot town on Suez Canal (Egypt side)
Travel shot and GV damaged houses in town (3 shots)
LV tilt down to damaged mosque
SV pan damaged church
GV pan damaged oil refinery (2 shots)
SV General walking along street
LV U.N. building
CU General being interviewed
GV destroyed buildings in town with soldiers and people in streets
TRANSCRIPT: (SEQ. 10): CLAYTON: "How long would it take you to open the canal if you were able to do so?".
GENERAL: "Six months, or more or less. We can do our best to do it."
CLAYTON: "You could have it working normally again?"
CLAYTON: "Thank very much indeed."
GENERAL: "Not at all."
Initials PS/10.29 PS/10.57
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: President Sadat of the United Arab Republic has warned that the chances of peace in the Middle East still appear very slim. The President made his statement while on a tour of army posts along the Suez front.
The Canal, with Egyptian and Israeli soldiers confronting each other across the water, is still a major stumbling-bloc to a Middle East settlement, despite the recent initiative by United States Secretary of State William Rogers.
To illustrate the problems involved, a British Broadcasting Corporation team has just brought back this film report from the Egyptian side in the Port Tewfik area, where the Canal is at its narrowest. Reporter Michael Clayton asked the General in charge of security in the Suez area how quickly the canal could be reponed in the event of a settlement.
SYNOPSIS: At its narrowest point near Port Tewfik, the Suez Canal is barely 200 yards (meters) wide. Egyptian and Israeli troops, well dug-in and heavily armed, watch each other warily across the water. Though the ceasefire ended officially in March, no shot has bee fired here for nine months. Yet President Sadat of Egypt, who has just toured army posts along the canal, has warned that the chances of peace in the Middle East still appear very slim. Port Tewfik itself is heavily scarred. The official Egyptian estimate of what the past fighting has meant is : 95 per cent of all property destroyed or damaged.
The nearby oil refinery used to produce 2 1/2 million tons of petroleum a year. Now they are silent.
The Egyptian General who is responsible for security in the Suez Canal area, is confident that the canal can be reopened quickly the moment a middle East settlement is reached. ...
But despite his hope, and the peace feelers put out by United States Secretary of State Rogers, Suez Canal remains frontier where fighting could break out tomorrow.