LONDON (Jul. 2)
The Telegraph reported from Beirut today that friction is growing between Egyptians and their Russian instructors and advisors in the military and industrial establishments. According to correspondent Richard Beeston, resentment of the Russians’ rigid discipline and Communist indoctrination is especially acute in the Egyptian Army which dismissed 30 officers in recent weeks for adopting “anti-Soviet attitudes.”
The Egyptians are also complaining about the lack of modern offensive weapons from Russia, particularly missiles, Mr. Beeston reported. He said that Russia’s rearmament of Egypt appears to have come to a halt and the Soviets are now sending only spare parts for which the Egyptians pay dearly. These are among the subjects that President Nasser is expected to take up with Soviet leaders when he flies to Moscow on Thursday, Mr. Beeston said.
Eric Downton, writing in the same newspaper, said today that Egypt has received all the military equipment from Russia that it can properly handle at this time. But Mr. Nasser is expected to ask Moscow for more up-to-date weaponry including missiles and war planes even though the quality of Egyptian pilots still leaves much to be desired, he wrote. The Russians, said Mr. Downton, are almost certain to demand and get more extensive facilities at Egyptian naval and air bases. According to the writer, the Russians do not want to risk the destruction of the revolutionary governments in Cairo, Baghdad and Damascus in another war with Israel. Therefore, they are expected to counsel moderation toward Israel in the United Nations. “For Russian Middle East tactics, it is better that Israel should exist,” Mr. Downton wrote.