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March 30, 1979 - Image 7

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1979-03-30

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Friday, March 30, 1919

Egypt Freezes Ties With Arabs, Europe Is Cautious

JERUSALEM (JTA) —
Egypt moved one step short
of resigning from the Arab
League on Tuesday. The
foreign ministry announced
in Cairo that Egypt "freezes
its activities in the league in
face of attempts to suspend
the Arab League Charter."

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This was a reference to the
Arab foreign ministers
meeting convened in
Baghdad to consider politi-
cal and economic sanctions
against Egypt because it
signed a peace treaty with
Israel.
Egypt was not invited to
the meeting which' was
called by Iraq instead of by
the Arab League
secretariate as required in
the league's charter. The
Egyptian statement indi-
cated that the freeze would
continue until "the day will
come when wisdom will
overcome emotionalism and
seriousness will replace ir-
responsibility" on' the part
of the league's 21 other
member states.
Last Friday, at the Arab
League offices in Cairo,
Arab League Secretary
General Mahmoud Riad
announced his resignation.
Riad blamed the .
Egyptian-Israeli treaty
for making his job of
promoting Arab unity an
impossible task. The post
of secretary general has
always been held by an
Egyptian.
Palestinians throughout
the U.S. denounced the

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treaty and observed a "day
of mourning" on Monday.
Approximately 1,000 Arab
Americans in Dearborn
staged a protest rally on
Sunday in front of the Is-
lamic Mosque.
At the United Nations,
Secretary General Kurt
Waldheim expressed reser-
vations about moving the
UN's peacekeeping forces in
Sinai without Security
Council approval and UN
officials were telling
American envoys that the
U.S. should deal privately
with the Soviet Union on
the matter before the prob-
lem is taken up by the Secu-
rity Council.

U.S. officials said they
would form their own mul-
tinational peace force, if
necessary.

Western Europe has
kept a striking silence
over the Israeli-Egyptian
peace treaty. The Euro-
pean Economic Commu-
nity (EEC) nine member-
states, usually prompt to
react on most interna-
tional issues, have kept a
discreet silence.
-
Some individual coun-

tries, and usually at
ministerial level, have ex-
pressed some satisfaction
but the EEC as a body has
adopted an attitude of "wait
and see," with officials
stressing, on the record and
privately, that the treaty
falls short of what they had
expected.

President
Egyptian
Anwar Sadat has person-
ally contacted most of West
Europe's leaders to explain
his decision and plead for
their support. He has had
over a dozen such telephone
conversations with France's
President Valery Giscard
Germany's
d'Estaing,
Helmut
Chancellor
Schmidt, Britain's Prime
Minister James Callaghan

and even Austria's Chancel-
lor Bruno Kreisky.
Last week, his deputy,
Hosni Mubarak, toured
Western Europe, meeting
with all those leaders again.
To all he explained that the
treaty is one "a first step"
towards a comprehensive
agreement and that what
Egypt now needs is help and
encouragement to break
down the Arab wall of hos-
tility and suspicion.
A few days later, the
American Deputy Secre-
tary of State, Warren
Christopher, undertook a
similar mission.
While Egypt is an eco-
nomic burden to those West
European countries which
have business deals with
Cairo, all have profitable
commercial exchanges with
Syria and Iraq. Most Euro-
pean governments also con-
tinue to believe that no
treaty can be a success un-
less the Soviet Union par-
ticiptes in its drafting and
gives its approval.
For once, public opinion
has gone along with the offi-
cial stand. Most European
commentators voice skepti-
cism as to the treaty's
chances of success and jour-
nalists in the Middle East
concentrate on reporting
the Palestinian stand.
In London on Tuesday,
Alfred Atherton, the U.S.
ambassador at large, said
the basis had been laid
for Palestinian autonomy
in the West Bank and
Gaza and that it could
"develop a momentum of
its own over the years."
Asked on BBC Television
whether autonomy was in-
tended to lead to an inde-
pendent Palestinian state,
Atherton said, "Palestinian
autonomy means precisely
what the Camp 'David
framework said: full au-
tonomy for the inhabitants
of the West Bank and
Gaza."

Sadat Meets Jewish Leaders

WASHINGTON (JTA) —
Leaders of six major Ameri-
can Jewish organizations
met with Egyptian
President Anwar Sadat.
•Theodore Mann, chair-
man of the National Jewish
Community Relations
Advisory Council, issued
the following statement on
behalf of the six — the
NJCRAC, Anti-Defamation
League of Bnai Brith, Bnai
Brith, American Jewish
Committee,
American
Jewish Congress and the
Council of Jewish Federa-
tions.
"We were pleased to have
accepted the kind invitation
of Ambassador Ashraf
Ghorbal to meet with
President Sadat of Egypt.
Our meeting was a friendly
one.
"We congratulated Sadat
on the vision and courage
which he, along with Pre-
mier Menahem Begin of Is-
rael, had demonstrated in
the struggle for peace, and
we expressed the conviction
that the example of Israel
and Egypt living in peace,
in close cooperation and in

harmony with each other
will inspire other nations in
the Mideast to understand
that the peaceful way. is the
only way to discuss and re-
solve whatever issues re-
main."

11

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The U.S. was not think-
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come and would not pre-
judge the result. The U.S.
administration had never
backed any independent
Palestinian state, and the
outcome might be the asso-
ciation of the areas with
Jordan. "But there are other
views and it is an ongoing
process," he said.

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