BONN (Mar. 23)
Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Egyptian Foreign Minister Ismail Fahmy will pay an unexpected two-day “working” visit to West Germany next week, enroute to Washington. Arriving March 31, the two will have talks with President Walter Scheel. Chancellor Helmut Schmidt and Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher.
It is exactly one year since Sadat paid his last official visit here and only six weeks since Genscher met Sadat in Cairo during a swing through the Arab capitals. Genscher is expected to inform the visitors of his impressions gained during last week’s visit to Israel, and observers expect Sadat to brief his German hosts on the latest Palestine National Council summit and his subsequent meeting with PLO leader Yasir Arafat.
But observers expect the visit to be dominated by economic themes. Egypt is already the second largest recipient of German financial aid after India, and is known to be seeking additional foreign assistance.
After Sadat’s last visit. Bonn hiked its low-interest credits to Cairo from $360 million to $480 million and promised a $50 million contribution to a planned European Common Market special credit for Egypt. Sadat was reportedly planning to come later this year, but is coming earlier because the timing was more convenient for Genscher.
However, with a public storm brewing over illegal, government-authorized wiretapping, and with the main coalition party, the Social Democrats, having this week suffered both a major defeat in local elections in its one-time stronghold. Hessen, and a militant left-wing takeover of its youth wing, the Sadat visit, some observers say, could hardly have come at a worse time.