Israelis Don’t Believe Sudan Will Go Communist

Israeli political circles here said today that last night’s military coup in Sudan by allegedly Communist officers did not mean that the country would go Communist. They said the new ruling junta, headed by Maj. Hashem al-Atta, a reputed Communist, could not govern the country with Communists and pro-Communists alone but would have to include “some conservative elements” in the Revolutionary Council. They noted that the new regime would be dependent on the Army which includes other than Communist elements. The circles pointed out that the deposed President of Sudan, Maj. Gen. Gaafar al-Nimeiry, had “used” the Communists after his seizure of power in May, 1969 in order to maintain and strengthen his rule but soon afterwards began persecuting them and eventually outlawed them. A1-Atta was one of the alleged Communists ousted by Nimeiry last November when he and others objected to plans for Sudan to join the projected federation of Egypt. Libya and Syria.

(In Washington today, State Department sources indicated a belief that the coup in Khartoum would not effect current efforts toward the reopening of the Suez Canal or that it would after the larger effort for a Middle East settlement being directed by United Nations mediator Gunnar V. Jarring. Asked for an analysis of the coup’s political implications. Department spokesman Charles Bray said it was too early for the U.S. to evaluate the change. He recalled that Sudan broke diplomatic relations with Washington after the 1967 Six-Day War. In that connection, he observed. “We have made it clear to the Sudanese Government since then that we regretted the break and are ready to re-establish relations at any time.” State Department officials declined to predict whether the events in Khartoum would give the Soviet Union an opportunity to increase its influence in Africa.)

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