Meir Expected to Challenge Sadat on Willingness to Make Peace
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Meir Expected to Challenge Sadat on Willingness to Make Peace

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Premier Golda Meir will challenge President Anwar Sadat of Egypt to prove his peaceful intentions when she delivers a political analysis of last week’s events to the Knesset Wednesday, informed sources here said today. They said Mrs. Meir’s speech will be Israel’s official response to Sadat’s expulsion of Soviet military advisers from Egypt. She will ask the Egyptian leader to show that he wants peace by agreeing to negotiate with Israel without preconditions. In this way, the Israeli Premier hopes to test Egypt’s true intentions or to expose the fact that Cairo’s policies have not changed basically if that is the case, the sources said.

Mrs. Meir and the chiefs of Israel’s intelligence services attended a closed session of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Security Committee Friday which was devoted to an analysis of developments in Egypt. But officials here are still hesitant to discuss the ouster of Soviet personnel, pending the official reaction. Most knowledgeable observers have been reluctant to commit themselves to an interpretation of Sadat’s move.


Although more information as to the scope and pace of the Russian departure from Egypt has become available, Foreign Ministry officials refused to react officially or off-the-record to yesterday’s statement by the Egyptian Minister of Information. Mohammed Zayyat, that the expulsion of Soviet advisers was intended to bring peace nearer to the Middle East. Jerusalem is awaiting President Sadat’s speech tomorrow on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Egyptian revolution before trying to evaluate what the latest events mean in terms of Egypt’s attitude toward Israel–whether in fact Egyptian policy has taken a real turn away from Implacable hostility.

Despite the tight-lipped silence of officials, there was no concealing a certain anxiety here over reports that the Egyptians have already sought to renew contacts with the United States. Even if these reports are premature, Israeli leaders anticipate with some apprehension that Cairo will make overtures to Washington sooner or later, which could only prejudice Israel’s relations with the US. Most observers here believe that the real test of any new Egyptian-US rapprochement will come after the American Presidential elections next fall.

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