UNITED NATIONS (Jul. 23)
Egypt agreed today to extend the mandate of the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) in Sinai for three months until Oct. 24. The mandate was due to expire tomorrow. The official announcement was made in Cairo by Foreign Minister Ismail Fahmy and was followed by an announcement here by Egyptian Ambassador Abdel Meguid after his 25-minute meeting with Secretary General Kurt Waldheim and Security Council President Eugenic Plaja of Italy.
Meguid told Waldheim and Plaja that Egyptian President Anwar Sadat’s reply to the appeal made to him by the Security Council to extend the UNEF mandate was “positive.” He said he would brief the non-aligned members of the Security Council on this development later today. A UN spokesman said the Security Council will meet tonight or tomorrow following Plaja’s consolations with Council members. Waldheim said through his spokesman that the Egyptian answer “is a positive development which will enable UNEF to continue to operate.”
The Council is expected to vote for the extension of the UNEF mandate with 13 members voting for it, and China and Iraq not participating as they haven’t done in the past. Sadat, in his speech last night on Egyptian television, said Egypt still did not have sufficient ground to agree to a renewal of the mandate. The Egyptian leader had met with U.S. Ambassador Hermann Eilts who returned to Cairo from Washington Sunday with the latest proposals by Israel. Egypt precipitated a crisis last week when she announced she would not extend the UNEF mandate. A flurry of diplomatic activity in Washington, Jerusalem and Cairo followed this announcement.