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Egyptian Foreign Minister Back in Cairo with Warnings of ‘long’ Battle

Egyptian political leaders were warned yesterday by Foreign Minister Mahmoud Riad that Egypt must gird for a “long hard battle” with Israel, according to the Cairo newspaper Al Gomhouria, The newspaper quoted Riad as asserting that the Middle East peace mission of United Nations envoy Gunnar V. Jarring was caught in “a vicious circle with Israel launching diplomatic maneuvers” and refusing to withdraw from occupied Arab territories. He reportedly added that “consequently we are beginning a new phase wherein we should reassess the situation and map new plans for the future, both militarily and diplomatically.” He warned that Israel “is not alone” and that this “will impose on us a long hard battle.”

The United Press International reported from Moscow today that the Soviet Government wants Arab action against Israel limited to harassment and that it has warned President Nasser against any moves that might trigger a new war. The dispatch said that this information was learned by another UPI correspondent, K.C. Thaler, covering the current NATO Council of Ministers session in Brussels. According to Thaler, the Kremlin told Mr. Nasser that Egypt was not ready for a major war following the recent escalation of fighting across the Suez Canal.

Israel Foreign Ministry sources meanwhile have not discounted reports from Belgrade that Egypt might favor an “imposed” solution of the Middle East deadlock but they made it clear today that Israel remained strongly opposed to any settlement which was not an outcome of direct Israeli negotiations with the Arabs. Ministry sources said a Big Power-imposed solution might be the ideal answer for Egypt which knows it cannot force Israel’s withdrawal from the occupied territories by Soviet political pressures alone but which is not ready for another war with Israel.

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