LONDON (Jun. 8)
The Communist Party newspaper Pravda has lashed out against “reactionary” forces in Egypt that it said were trying to push President Gamal Abdel Nasser on an “adventurist course” and thereby bring about the downfall of his regime. The article, written by V.Rumyanstev, a Middle East specialist, declared that “a sober, realistic approach to the (Arab-Israeli) conflict’s solution by political methods will ultimately open the road to the restoration of the country’s territorial integrity and serve the further consolidation of the progressive regime.”
Diplomatic observers here saw the article as a clear warning to the Arabs that Moscow would continue to support them only if they sought a political solution of the Mideast conflict. Although it accused “world imperialism headed by the imperialism of the United States,” of using “Israel’s ruling Zionist circles” to disrupt Arab ties with the Socialist states and frustrate their progress, the article was also Moscow’s most direct attack so far on the Arab guerrilla movement and its supporters.
The Pravda article singled out for attack an un-named “well known Cairo Journalist” for writing recently in the influential newspaper Al Ahram that the Arab resistance movement should be “outside politics, outside the social struggle.” Cairo’s best known journalist is Mohammed Heikal, editor of Al Ahram and a close friend and confidant of President Nasser. He wrote last week that Egyptian forces would try to regain the Israeli-held territories next winter.
Pravda said that “reactionary elements were whipping up nationalistic and revenge-seeking moods in the people and army with the aim of pushing Egypt on to an adventuristic course…as a result of which, by their calculations, the existing regime would not be able to survive.” The Nasser regime, according to Pravda, “is for political settlement of the (Mideast) conflict in keeping with the UN Security Council resolution of November, 1967.” Observers here noted that Moscow has been unhappy over the apparent growing influence of Arab guerrilla groups, the largest of them being El Fatah, which claims it is apolitical. The guerrillas have gained Chinese Communist support and are now strongly backed by the Syrian regime which recently sent a military mission to Communist China. It was recalled here that last April 15 the Soviet Communist Party Central Committee’s journal “Soviet Russia” expressed only “mixed feelings of sympathy” for El Fatah because “the liquidation of Israel is not realistic.” The Soviets reportedly turned down an El Fatah request for arms in Cairo on grounds that guerrilla warfare served no purpose.