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Israelis Pondering Sadek’s Plight

Israelis are pondering the resignation–or ouster–of Egypt’s War Minister Mohammed Sadek last week and at least three different explanations are making the rounds. Some observers believe that Sadek was ousted because of his strong anti-Soviet leanings at a time when the Cairo regime is seeking rapprochement with Moscow. These observers contend that Sadek was forced to resign either in response to Soviet demands that he must go, or as a signal from President Anwar Sadat that he wants to improve relations with Moscow. Soviet-Egyptian relations deteriorated after Sadat ordered most Soviet advisors out of Egypt last July.

Another theory voiced here is that Sadek was held responsible for an abortive Army uprising said to have occurred in Egypt two weeks ago. Only the BBC and other British sources reported the uprising which has not been confirmed. Cairo claims that a mentally unbalanced officer preached a sermon in a mosque which gave rise to the BBC report.

Another body of opinion contends that Sadek was becoming too popular for comfort and posed a threat to Sadat. Senior sources here stress unofficially that the opinion in Western capitals is that Egyptian Premier Aziz Sidky achieved no fundamental change in his recent visit to Moscow and that the West does not anticipate a return to the previous level of relations between Cairo and Moscow.

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