LONDON (Jul. 24)
One of the most bellicose statements against Israel by a leading official of the Egyptian Government was voiced in Cairo yesterday by Field Marshal Abdel Hakim Amer, the First Vice-President, at the annual military parade marking the 14th anniversary of the overthrow of King Farouk. Displayed for the first time at the parade were scores of newly supplied Soviet jets, missiles and tanks.
“The armed forces,” Marshal Amer declared at the parade, “must be ready at all times to deter Israeli aggression and then advance to liquidate it in the battle that every Arab dreams of and prepares for.” With President Gamal Abdel Nasser at his side, Amer pledged that the Egyptian armed forces would defend any Arab country against “Israeli aggression” regardless of inter-Arab conflicts.
Asserting that Egypt will “always maintain definite superiority in quality and quantity over Israel in weapons and combat efficiency, Amer said that “any social and ideological differences will disappear completely at the line of battle against the common enemy of the Arab nations.” Among the new armaments displayed by Egypt in the parade were Soviet-made air-to-ground missiles mounted under the wings of Soviet TU-16 medium bombers, and two squadrons of advanced MIG-21D jets equipped with air-to-air missiles comparable to the heat-seeking Sidewinders being used by United States jets in Viet Nam. Also shown in the parade were 120 new Soviet tanks especially equipped with lights and radar for night fighting.
Earlier, at a mass rally marking the anniversary of the revolution, President Nasser accused the United States of delaying a new aid program for Egypt because of policy conflicts over Israel, Communist China and Egyptian friction with Saudi Arabia. He directed the brunt of his attack against the failure of the U.S. Government to open negotiations on the latest Egyptian request for $150, 000, 000 worth of wheat, corn and other farm surplus goods and the recent vote in Congress approving an anti-Egypt amendment to the Foreign Aid Bili.
Contending that it was political policy disagreements that were delaying American aid, “because we spoke of Israel and nuclear development, Saudi Arabia and China as we feel,” President Nasser said: “We expressed our views and the American Congress decided three days ago that there is to be no aid to the UAR unless there is a certain American national interest.” The Egyptian President also announced that he would not attend the next scheduled meeting of Arab chiefs of state due to be held in Algeria in September. He said that Egypt had called for an indefinite postponement of the conclave.
(Israeli political sources greeted with satisfaction today the announcement by President Nasser of Egypt that he would not attend the September Arab chief of states meeting in Algeria, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency correspondent in Jerusalem reported. The sources noted that while Arab “summit” meetings in the past have not produced threatened anti-Israel measures, they have always been preceded by periods of competition among the Arab countries in seeking to outdo each other in anti-Israel stances, as well as of increased activity among Arab refugee organizations.)