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Political Circles React in Low Key to Sadat Interview

Political circles here reacted soberly to President Anwar Sadat’s interview published in Le Monde yesterday in which the Egyptian leader warned that Israel faced a new war unless it made major concessions within the next three months on all Arab fronts, including negotiating with the Palestine Liberation Organization.

It was difficult to tell from Sadat’s latest statements what was “practical” and what was intended for internal Arab consumption or other political purposes, one source said. But “We are not ignoring Sadat’s words altogether. If his statements were intended for our ears only, then there is nothing to negotiate,” the source added.

(See separate story on reaction in Washington.)

There has been no official reaction to the Sadat interview. But Israeli observers said that Sadat’s insistence on linking Israeli-Egyptian negotiations to similar negotiations between Israel and other Arab countries, notably Syria, only limited his options for a settlement with Israel and could lead to his leadership passing over to “extremist elements.” The sources said. “We are willing to negotiate with any neighboring country in an effort to reach peace but considering the special problems of each region separately. The problems on the Syrian front are different than those on the Egyptian front.”

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