Navon on Official Visit to Egypt
Menu JTA Search

Navon on Official Visit to Egypt

Download PDF for this date

President Yitzhak Navon and his wife, Ophira, arrived here yesterday to begin the first official visit by on Israeli chief of state to Egypt. They were received warmly at the airport by President Anwar Sadat and his wife, Jihan, with all the pomp and courtesy prescribed by protocol for such occasions.

Egypt’s top political figures and military brass were on hand. The army band, resplendent in decorative uniforms, boomed out marches and the national anthems of both countries. Two young girls stepped forward to present Mrs. Navon with bouquets of flowers.

There were no speeches at the airport but handshakes and smiles all around. The two Presidents retired briefly to a room in the airport terminal for a short chat. They will meet three more times during Navon’s five-day stay in Egypt. One of the meetings has been designated official.

The Israeli President arrived with a large entourage of his own, consisting of 19 Israeli dignitaries and about 70 journalists representing the Israeli and foreign media. The airport was bedecked with Israeli flags, as were the highway leading to it and the crowded streets of Cairo where the usual chaotic traffic apparently took no notice of the long convoy of official cars with police and military escorts.


Navon’s first stop was at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier where he solemnly laid a wreath. This was followed by a visit to the pyramids which was shortened to allow the Navons time to prepare for the official dinner given in their honor last night at the Abadin Palace where they are staying.

Navon’s arrival in the Egyptian capital came at a time when the local press is preoccupied with a bill before the Knesset to annex the Golan Heights to Israel. That sensitive issue, however, is not expected to be discussed by Navon, who is not a political figure, at his meetings with Sadat. Nevertheless, the Egyptian media took the occasion of his arrival to air it extensively.

Navon’s schedule includes visits to a Cairo synagogue, to the Israel Embassy and to the Cairo museum. He will meet with Vice President Hosni Mubarak before emplaning for a flight to Luxor and a sightseeing tour of upper Egypt.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund