Egyptian President Anwar Sadat's acceptance of an invitation to address Israel's Knesset has been to the fore in Middle East news this week.
Egyptian President Anwar Sadat's acceptance of an invitation to address Israel's Knesset has been to the fore in Middle East news this week. While the United States - co-chairman for the Geneva Middle East peace talks - has been instrumental in organising President Sadat's visit. The other co-chairman, the Soviet Union, has not made any official comment on the development. However this doesn't mean the Soviet presence hasn't been felt in the Middle East. Earlier in the week a top-ranking Soviet military delegation arrived in Jordan for a four-day visit.
SYNOPSIS: The delegation arrived on Tuesday (14 November) and was headed by General Ivan Sokolov, first deputy for the Soviet Union's Defence Minister. He and other members of the delegation were met at Amman's airport by Jordan's Chief of Defence Staff, General Sharif Zeid Ben Shaker, who had extended an official invitation for the visit. The Soviet officials were to inspect Jordanian military installations, and historic sites.
The Jordanians had prepared a warm welcome for the delegation. Reuters News Agency said no official reasons had been given for the visit, but the Jordanian News Agency said it was ??? made "in the context of military co-operation between the two countries".
The Jordanian armed forces number nearly 70,000 men, and at present use a lot of equipment supplied by the United States and Britain.
The two generals were to hold talks later, but it wasn't known if an arms agreement between their two countries was to be discussed.
Nor did official sources give any indication as to which military installations the Soviet delegation use to visit. The delegation is expected to leave Jordan on Friday (10 November).