PARIS (Aug. 12)
French-language newspapers in Beirut said today that the Soviet Union has warned of an imminent Israeli attack on the Arabs. The warning came from the Soviet Ambassador to Lebanon, Sarvar Azimov, to Yasser Arafat, head of the Palestine Liberation Organization, according to the newspaper L’Orient-Le Jour. The paper said Azimov told Arafat that “he had information in his possession which indicated an imminent Israeli attack on Arab countries.”
Another newspaper, Le Soir, said the Russian envoy put Arafat on guard against an Israeli attack and urged him to speed up “the creation of a Palestinian state.” Azimov was quoted by the Beirut paper, An-Nahar, as saying he feared Israel might soon attack “one or more of the Arab fronts and the Palestinian refugee camps in order to freeze the Middle East peace efforts and obstruct the resumption of the Geneva peace conference.” According to the Beirut reports, Soviet and Arab sources confirmed that Azimov met with Arafat but refused to comment further.