WASHINGTON (Dec. 16)
The State Department said today that it would take up with Soviet authorities a reported pledge by the Russian Ambassador in Cairo that the Soviet Union would support Egypt in peace or war. The statement by Ambassador Vladimir Vinogradov was quoted in the Cairo newspaper Al Goumhouriya. If it proves correct, it will be the first time that the Soviet Union has publicly expressed its backing for Egyptian President An war Sadat’s declaration that Egypt would fight to regain the Sinai peninsula from Israel if there is no political solution.
It was not clear whether the State Department will take up the matter through the Soviet Embassy here or the US Embassy in Moscow. According to Al Goumhouriya, Vinogradov told newsmen in Cairo, “We support Cairo’s desire, whether it is for peace or battle because in either case it will lead to liquidation of the (Israeli) aggression.” The Ambassador reportedly added, “If the situation is to be war, we will support you to make it a war with a minimum of losses. We shall stand with you as always in war and peace.”