Washington (Aug. 5)
President Reagan welcomed Egyptian President Anwar Sadat to the White House this morning in the first meeting between the two leaders. Both Presidents stressed the friendship between the two countries and pledged to work together for peace in the Middle East and the world.
Reagan told Sadat that although Presidents had changed in the United States since Sadat’s last visit here, “we have not altered our commitment to peace or desire to build upon the achievements of Camp David.”
Sadat said it was “crucial” in the present situation of violence in the world, as evidenced by recent events in the Middle East, to work for a “comprehensive peace in the Middle East.” Neither President mentioned specific subjects and Sadat did not refer to the Palestinians in his remarks, though he said yesterday in London this would be a major topic in his talks with Reagan.
The official welcoming ceremony under a broiling sun on the south lawn of the White House included all the pomp and trimmings of military bands and drill teams. Sadat was even treated to a marching fife and drum corps dressed in the Revolutionary War uniforms. During the ceremony, Egyptians in the audience shouted in Arabic “Long Live Sadat, Long Live Reagan.”
CALLS EGYPT ‘FRIEND AND PARTNER’
Reagan, praising Sadat for his “foresight and leadership,” said Egypt was a “friend and partner,” of the United States and that the “thrust and bonds of unity grow stronger each day.” He said that Sadat had “opened the eyes of the world for new opportunities for peace” and had “shown the way” where others had only continued the hatreds of the past.
Reagan called Sadat one of the “Twentieth Century’s most courageous peace-makers” and said he had taken the first step toward peace and the United States and Egypt will now “walk that road together and we will not be deterred from reaching our destination.”
Sadat, in his response, said that the “dialogue” which the two leaders will be holding today and tomorrow is aimed at strengthening the search for peace. He said that Reagan has achieved much for this in the last few months and expressed the hope that even more will be accomplished in the months and years ahead.
Sadat called the United States “a full partner” in the search for peace in the Middle East. He added that beyond the Mideast, there is need for peace and stability in Africa and the Third World and a “global balance that does not leave small nations” at the “mercy” of pressure from larger nations. Again calling the United States “a reliable friend,” Sadat declared: “Together, Mr. President, we shall overcome.” (See related Reagan-Sadat story on Pg. 3)