JERUSALEM (Feb. 7)
President Anwar Sadat of Egypt, whose recent trip to Moscow was less than a resounding success, suffered another rebuff today at the hands of his Arab friends. The presidents of Syria and Sudan declined to attend an Arab summit meeting Sadat had arranged in Libya, apparently to entice the Sudanese into joining the Egypt-Libya-Syria Federation.
When President Jafar el Numeiri of Sudan announced that he would not attend. President Hafez Al Assad of Syria cancelled his visit. Sadat, who was in Tripoli, cut short his stay and returned to Cairo this afternoon. Observers here said the incident spelled a further decline in Sadat’s prestige at home and abroad. They said he called the Tripoli meeting to repair some of the damage done his image in Moscow when the Russians refused to go along with setting a date for an Egyptian military showdown with Israel that Sadat says is inevitable.
Sadat’s visit to Moscow turned out to be importunate and the Soviet news media made no secret of the fact. The Egyptian leader apparently thought he could recoup by persuading Sudan to join the three-way Arab Federation. Students of Egyptian affairs here believe, however, that Sadat’s position is still strong, unless Army officers join the university students who have been clamoring for a tougher stand against Israel.