PARIS (Apr. 28)
Egyptian mobs, denouncing President Bourguiba of Tunisia as a “Zionist” for advocating Arab-Israel peace negotiations, attacked and Burned the Tunisian Embassy in Cairo, according to reports today from the Egyptian capital. Most of the demonstrators were students, particularly Palestinian Arab refugees.
The demonstration followed announcement by Egypt yesterday that it had withdrawn its ambassador from Tunisia in the wake of an attack on the Egyptian embassy in Tunis by Tunisian crowds. The Egyptian Government simultaneously denounced the Tunisian leader’s bid to be an intermediary between the Arabs and Israel. Foreign Minister Manmoud Riad told the Egyptian National Assembly last night that “this is a case in which there can be no intermediary, no negotiations nor compromise.”
The Egyptian Foreign Minister’s statement was the first official Egyptian comment on Bourguiba’s comment for Arab recognition of Israel and negotiation on outstanding issues, including the status of the Palestinian Arab refugees. The Cairo “Voice of the Arabs” Radio charged Bourguiba with “aggressive intentions against Egypt and Palestine.”
The Egyptian National Assembly urged the Government to intervene energetically “to half further Bourguiba statements and assure the unity of the Arab world where Palestine is concerned.” The chairman of the Assembly’s Arab affairs committee also denounced the Tunisian’s efforts and said there was no reason why Tunisia should continue as a member of the Arab League but he did not call for Tunisia’s ouster.