INTRODUCTION In Egypt, President Anwar Sadat has had another meeting with an important body in the country to put the government's view of last months' bloody food riots in Cairn which claimed 79 lives.
INTRODUCTION In Egypt, President Anwar Sadat has had another meeting with an important body in the country to put the government's view of last months' bloody food riots in Cairn which claimed 79 lives. The meeting, with a delegation of Moslem and Christian dignitaries, took place only tow days before a national vote on strict law and order measures which introduce hard labour for strikes, sit-in demonstrations and attacks against public or private properties.
SYNOPSIS: The religious leaders were summoned to Cairo's Abdine Palace for the meeting.
During the day Egypt's leftist party, the Progressive Unionist party, which was only two seats, issued a statement urging Egyptians to vote against that law and order measures aimed at rioters and saboteurs. In a recent television interview party chairman khalid Mohieddin said Egyptians should be given the right to express their views freely, including through peaceful demonstrations.
Dr. Abdel Halim Mahmoud, Rector of Al-Azhar mosque, Egypt's oldest Moslem University, led the Moslem University, led the Moslem delegation at Sunday's meeting.
Before it began Dr. Mahmoud greeted Pope Shenouda III, Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Patriarch. President Sadat has accused the rioters of trying to cause religious dissension among other things.
President Sadat has blamed communists - and implicitly the Soviet Union - for the riots, and he has also alleged that the Progressive Unionist Party tried to incite violence, but he has said that despite the troubles the government will not re-open detention camps or return to undemocratic methods.
President Sadat told his religious audience that the plotters of the riots wanted to bounce to power through a bloodbath. He said they wanted to eliminate social peace and burn down everything. President Sadat, who has also spoken to labour leaders, university professors and students since the riots, again attacked the Soviet Union. He said the Soviets were angry because Egypt had social peace, but he said that nevertheless the Egyptian government did not tell the Soviet Union to apply it in their own country.