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Egypt-libya-sudan Alliance Under Strain; Libya’s President Rebukes Soviet Union

The recently formed alliance between Egypt, Libya and the Sudan developed a sharp crack last week as the heads of these states met at Khartoum to launch still another drive for all-Arab cooperation in the struggle against Israel. President Gamal Abdel Nasser, President Muammer al-Qaddhafi, of Libya and Premier Jaafar e-Numeiri of Sudan, mapped out a program of economic and political retaliation against the West should the United States supply Israel with more combat jets. But President al-Qaddhafi, leader of the military junta that ousted pro-Western King Idris of Libya last year, expressed serious concern over increasing Soviet influence in the Arab world. In a speech relayed from Khartoum by Egyptian radio, he warned against “the threat of foreign powers to the Arab entity.” He said the Soviet Union and the Socialist camp were not the only party that supported the Arabs “but there were others in the West, in Europe, in Latin America.”

Pres. al-Qaddhafi emphasized that the Arabs should rely “only” on “Arab nationalism.” He scorned “both left and right” and suggested that the Soviet Union might have aims of its own in the Mideast. He said Russia’s friendly attitude “would be tested by the rules of mutual respect” implying that he was not automatically accepting the view that the Soviet Union “is indeed friendly and peace-loving, and supports the freedom of man.” His remarks contrasted sharply with the Khartoum speech of President Nasser who praised Moscow and insisted that Soviet aid was “vital.” At the point where President al-Qaddhafi declared, “Friendly peoples do not liberate our land for us,” his speech was suddenly out off the air. An Egyptian commentator announced, “reception has been interrupted.” It was resumed only after President Nasser had started his speech.

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