Anti-american Demonstrations in Tunis Force Rogers to Cancel Visit to University
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Anti-american Demonstrations in Tunis Force Rogers to Cancel Visit to University

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Anti-American demonstrations forced Secretary of State William P. Rogers to cancel a visit today to Tunis University. More than 100 students tried to march on the United States Embassy in Tunis to protest American Mideast policies. About 2000 others gathered in the center of the capital shouting “Nixon assassin” and “Palestine for the Arabs.”

The demonstration was the first encountered by Mr. Rogers on his ten-nation African tour which began in Rabat, Morocco on Sunday. The U.S. Secretary of State met in Tunis today with Prime Minister Bahi Ladgham and Foreign Minister Habib Bourguiba Jr., son of the President of Tunisia who is ailing. The world situation with emphasis on the Middle East, was on the agenda of their talks. Mr. Rogers will fly to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia tomorrow and will subsequently visit Kenya, Zambia, The Congo, Cameroon, Nigeria, Ghana and Liberia. In the Ethiopian capital he is expected to meet with President Tito of Yugoslavia who is also on an African tour.


Mr. Rogers’ brief visit to Morocco did not spark any demonstrations but his official welcome was decidedly cool. He was greeted by Foreign Minister Abdelhadi Boutaleb in the absence of King Hassan II who extended his visit to France by a day and met with Mr. Rogers only on Monday. The attitude of the Moroccans was viewed as a “subtle display of displeasure” with American Mideast policies. But Mr. Rogers and his Moroccan hosts apparently shared concern over the growing influence of Egypt in Libya, the easternmost of the phalanx of former North African colonies.

Foreign Minister Boutaleb reportedly spoke to Mr. Rogers about “an influx from outside” of military and political advisers into Libya. The reference was apparently to Egyptian advisers and technicians in Libya who, according to other sources, now number in the thousands. Morocco, along with Algeria and Tunisia are the most Western oriented of the Arab nations and are known to be alarmed at the pro-Egyptian, pro-Soviet leaning of the new Libyan military junta.

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