Cabinet Ponders Events in Egypt

A Cabinet minister told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency last night that the government still lacked clear information on several aspects of the pull-out of Soviet personnel from Egypt, ordered by President Anwar Sadat last week. The Cabinet spent four hours discussing the development yesterday. Assessments were made by Foreign Minister Abba Eban, Defense Minister Moshe Dayan, Chief of Staff Gen. David Elazar and Gen. Aharon Yariv, head of military intelligence. The Defense Minister’s special assistant Zvi Tsur also participated in the discussion. But the government continued to maintain official silence pending Premier Golda Meir’s address to the Knesset Wednesday.

The JTA learned that one possibility raised at the Cabinet meeting was a renewal of limited hostilities along the Suez Canal by Egypt. This was considered possible in view of popular dissatisfaction in Egypt with the “no-war-no-peace” situation and Sadat’s need to bolster his position. The departure of the Russians may mean that the Soviet restraints on the Egyptian military may have been loosened, sources here said.

(The Lebanese newspaper Beirut reported yesterday that Syria was planning to follow the Egyptian lead and expel Soviet advisors attached to its armed forces.) Israeli military sources believe there are no more than 1000 Soviet advisors in Syria. There has been no confirmation of the Beirut report.

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