LONDON (Jan. 13)
An Egyptian Government official praised the Soviet Union for its new Middle East peace offensive and President de Gaulle for his “total embargo” on arms and airplane spare-parts equipment to Israel, as reports of an impending large-scale Israeli strike against Jordan circulated in Cairo today.
The semi-official newspaper Al Ahram said that Israel was massing troops for an attack intended to destroy Iraqi troop concentrations in Jordan. The paper said it was timed to coincide with the last days of the Johnson Administration so that U.S. disapproval would be at a minimum. Al Ahram attributed its alleged information to Iraqi and Jordanian intelligence reports.
Egypt’s Information Minister, Mohamed Fayek, said following a Cabinet meeting presided over by President Gamal Abdel Nasser, that the Egyptian Government considered Gen. de Gaulle’s embargo decision “a stance which the Arab nation will never forget since it restores to international politics that spirit of principles without which it is impossible to solve world problems.” Mr. Fayek said that the Cabinet found the Soviet Union’s peace efforts “highly valuable in this crisis of the destiny of the Arab nation.”