Egyptian President Anwar Sadat has announced that Saudi Arabia has undertaken to finance the development of the Egyptian armed forces over the next five years at no cost to Egypt.
Egyptian President Anwar Sadat has announced that Saudi Arabia has undertaken to finance the development of the Egyptian armed forces over the next five years at no cost to Egypt. President Sadat broke the news on Saturday (16 July), during a major address to the Arab Socialist Union, which is now the supervisory body of Egypt's three political parties. The Egyptian President also reiterated that he wanted normal relations with the Soviet Union but would no accept a new Soviet-Egyptian treaty.
SYNOPSIS: Outside the Arab Socialist Union building in Cairo, police and guards stood watch. Earlier this month, former Egyptian cabinet minister, Dr Mohamed Hussein Zahabi, was kidnapped and killed by an extremist Moslem sect. For the ASU conference with so many powerful government members present, the security forces were taking no chances.
The Egyptian President's wife, Mr Jihan Sadat, was followed into the conference hall by the Sudanese Foreign Minister, Mansour Khaled and other Sudanese officials.
The Egyptian President entered the conference hall shortly afterwards, to an enthusiastic greeting.
Despite the reception before he spoke, President Sadat was heckled from the floor during his address, particularly on the country's relations with the Soviet Union.
One heckler accused Mr Sadat of departing from the policies of the late Egyptian President Gamal Nassar. In reply, Mr Sadat said that during Nasser's last visit to Moscow the Soviet Union had promised to sell arms to Egypt only for cash. Egypt then turned to Libya and other Arab countries for help and now had a commitment from Saudi Arabia to finance the development of the Egyptian armed forces over the next five years at no cost to Egypt. President Sadat asked how could this offer be compared to that of the Soviet Union's.
During his address President Sadat spoke for the first time in terms of recognising Israel as `one of the Middle East states'. He also said he would take a firm stand against Egyptian Marxists and extreme rightists, including the extreme Moslem society known as the Takfir Wal Hijira, the society for Repentance and Flight from Sin, which recently captured and ???led the former Minister of Religious Endowments, Mohamed Hussein Zahabi. He said he would ask Parliament and the cabinet to issue a new law that ???ists or extreme rightists, including Takfir Wal Hijira, and all ???ionists should not occupy leading positions in the Egyptian news ??? President Sadat also revealed for the first time the Egyptian version of what happened during the Moscow talks between Egyptian Foreign Minister Ismail Fahmi and his Soviet counterpart, Andrei Gromyko. He said the Soviet Union asked Egypt to sign a political agreement and ???lish existing arms contracts and that Egypt would in the future have to pay for weapons in hard cash. President Sadat said Moscow presented two ultimatums. One, that the Soviet Union must not be excluded from any Middle East peace settlement and that secondly the Soviet Union would back Ethiopia, which it claimed Sudan was planning to attack. The Egyptian reply was that nobody planned to exclude the Soviet Union from a peace settlement but on the second point Mr Fahmi had said Egypt would throw all its forces behind the Sudan if it was attacked.