Egyptian President Anwar Sadat told his parliament on Saturday (21 January) he had formally asked the United States to supply Egypt with all the modern weapons it has already poured into Israel.
GV Egyptian President Anwar Sadat enters parliament chamber to applause. (4 shots)
SV Mr. Sadat at microphone with chants in the background.
GV/SV/CU Mr. Sadat speaking. (4 shots)
Mr. Sadat added that Egypt would pay for the requested arms, which were also needed for Egypt's African commitments. His speech offered no new formula for resuming the suspended Jerusalem talks, nor for continuing his peace initiative, which he described as 'a blazing torch for peace'. He insisted he would continue to strive for peace. He had recalled his delegation from peace talks in Israel last Wednesday (18 January) because Israel had not shifted her basic position. His adamant declaration about not allowing a square inch of Egyptian territory to be given away, was interpreted as demonstrating Egypt's strong feelings about the occupied territories. During his 105-minute speech, Mr. Sadat received cheers from the 360 legislators in the assembly.
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Background: Egyptian President Anwar Sadat told his parliament on Saturday (21 January) he had formally asked the United States to supply Egypt with all the modern weapons it has already poured into Israel. The President was addressing an emergency session of the People's Assembly, called to her his explanation for suspending peace talks with Israel. He declared he was prepared to 'wage war with Israel to the end' rather than give up an inch of Egyptian territory.
SYNOPSIS: President Sadat's major speech had been eagerly awaited around the world as a crucial factor in assessing the chances of continuing moves towards peace.
He said he had made a formal request for U.S. arms when he met United States Secretary of State Cyrus Vance in Egypt on Friday (20 January). The President believed the flow of arms from the United States to Israel had given Israeli Premier Menachem Begin the confidence to behave in what he termed an 'arrogant' manner. Having these weapons, Israel felt able to resist what Mr. Sadat saw as justified Arab demands -- for Israeli withdrawal from land occupied in the 1967 Middle East war and for Palestinian self-determination.
Mr. Sadat said he had asked Mr. Vance to put the Egyptian request for arms to President Carter. Reuters reported that, so far, the United States has supplied Egypt with only six C-130 aircraft and some vehicles. The Soviet Union had supplied most of the weapons for Egypt's 300,000-strong armed forces. But relations between Cairo and Moscow have been icy since Mr. Sadat expelled 20,000 Soviet military advisers in 1972.