The Soviet leadership turned out in force for the opening ceremony in Moscow on Thursday (25th October) of the World Peace Congress.
The Soviet leadership turned out in force for the opening ceremony in Moscow on Thursday (25th October) of the World Peace Congress. They were repeatedly clapped by the 3,000 delegates from more than 140 countries.
The newly elected President of the Congress, Mr. Romesh Chandra of India said he wanted to thank the Soviet Party leader, Mr. Leonid Brezhnev, personally for his "efforts to see peace and justice established in the world."
Mr. Chandra led a long ovation for Mr. Brezhnev, who was sitting with Soviet President Nikolai Podgorny, the Prime Minister, Mr. Alexei Kosygin, and the Foreign Minister, Mr. Andrei Gromyko.
The week-long meeting is being staged in the Kremlin's vast New Palace of Congress.
Mr. Brezhnev, who was scheduled to address the Congress on the opening day, postponed his speech on the Middle East, presumably to await later reports on world reaction to the crisis.
When eventually he did speak on the following day (Friday, 26th October) he told the assembly that the Soviet Union had sent its representatives to the Middle East to observe the ceasefire between Israel and the Arab countries. They had gone, he said, in answer to a request from Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. He hoped, he added, that the United States would follow suit.
Mr. Brezhnev devoted the first 40-minutes of his speech to the Middle East crisis. He said Israel should withdraw from all the territories it occupied in the 1967 war, and all Arab States should be guaranteed inviolable frontiers. The Soviet Union, Mr. Brezhnev added, was willing to join in the offering of guarantees.