NEW YORK (Oct. 30)
Egyptian President Anwar Sadat said last night that the United States is ready and willing to extend its good offices “to start now the same process in the Golan Heights” as in the Sinai for a second interim agreement between Israel and Syria. “But,” the Egyptian leader added, “it is up to our brothers in Syria to decide.”
Addressing a dinner meeting of the Economic Club of New York at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel here, Sadat told the more than 900 businessmen and civic leaders that “we are doing everything we can to reinforce and accelerate the process of peace” in the Mideast. He said that he came to the United States without a shopping list for arms. “What concerns me is not arms,” Sadat said, “but the state of Egypt’s economy.”
Recalling that the Egyptian economy was “below zero” in October 1973, Sadat said that his country’s economy is still in grave condition, partly as a result of the arms race in the Mideast which “puts a very heavy burden on our economy.”
Referring to the latest interim agreement between Israel and Egypt, Sadat said that as a result of the record “the bomb that was about to explode is defused.” He added; “We are in a process of peace settlement” in the Mideast. He said that the present situation in Lebanon “is a great concern to us” and warned that the crisis in Lebanon can gravely effect “the whole area, not only Lebanon.” He minimized differences between his own country and Syria over the Sinai agreement, saying this was “something that happens always in the Arab family. It is quite natural. We need not worry about this.
URGES U.S. CAPITAL IN EGYPT
In his opening 20-minute speech, Sadat called on American businessmen to bring their capital and their know-how to Egypt. He said his country was liberalizing its laws, eliminating restrictions, combating bureaucracy and rewarding initiative, Sadat disclosed that the cargo passed through the Suez-Canal “now reached the level of before June, 1967,” and said that with the return of the Abu Rodeis oilfields to Egypt from Israel, Egypt will be self-sufficient in oil.
Sadat, who was enthusiastically received by the audience, said that Egypt always admired America’s spirit of freedom. He said it is in the best interest of Egypt to have good relations with the U.S. “I hope my visit here will result in putting our relations in the proper position,” Sadat said.
A meeting between Gov. Hugh Carey and Sadat scheduled to take place at the Waldorf before the dinner, did not materialize, Carey, it was reported, agreed to meet Sadat privately to try to convince him to influence Arab UN delegates to drop the anti-Zionist draft resolution before it comes up for a vote in the General Assembly plenary. A spokesman for Carey said that the meeting failed to take place after Carey arrived at the hotel and was faced with photographers who wanted to take pictures of the Governor with the Egyptian leader.