WASHINGTON (Jul. 24)
State Department officials maintained a stony silence today on Egyptian President Anwar Sadat’s charges of broken American promises to Egypt and American guarantees to Israel. Department spokesman Charles Bray told newsmen he could not respond to any questions related to Sadat’s four-hour speech to the national congress of the Arab Socialist Union in Cairo today on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Egyptian revolution.
Bray said the State Department had not had a chance to study Sadat’s speech which, according to incomplete translations reaching here this morning, was devoted at some length to attacking the US but seemed ambiguous as to why the Egyptian leader suddenly ordered Soviet advisors out of Egypt last week.
Sadat said in his speech that three factors prompted him to remove Soviet military advisors from Egypt. These he said were a US government pledge to Israel that it would oppose any Security Council resolution which calls on Israel to withdraw from the territories it occupied in June, 1967; would enable Israel to maintain military superiority over Egypt; and would not impose, or allow the imposition of a settlement in the Middle East which did not provide for direct negotiations between Israel and its Arab neighbors. Sadat said these three points formed a central issue to the current Egyptian-Soviet situation but he did not say specifically how they were connected with his ordered reduction of the Soviet military presence in Egypt.
Sadat told the Arab Socialist Union, his country’s only political party, that there were differences in strategy between the Soviet Union and Egypt. He said he had tried to dissuade the Soviet Union from maintaining a position that he described as “over cautious.” He said that if Egypt and the Soviet Union did nothing but keep on waiting, it would mean acceptance of the Israeli occupation as a fait accompli. Sadat drew his loudest applause when he declared, “This we rejected.”
He spent an hour describing how, he claimed, the US had repeatedly blocked efforts for a Middle East settlement. He devoted about the same length of time to detailing his attempts to bring about a harmony of views with the Soviet Union. Sadat charged that the US was conducting a war of nerves with Egypt. He said the US has been shipping military supplies into Israel since last Jan. “as if to tell us, what does the Soviet Union give you? What can the Soviet Union do for you?” Sadat said that in Oct. 1971 the Soviet Union had promised to implement a “certain agreement” but 1971 ended without the agreement, which the Egyptian President did not describe, being fulfilled.