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State Dept, Dismisses New Sadat Interview As Old Hat, Declines Comment on Alleged Secret U.s.-israel

December 14, 1971
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

An interview with President Anwar Sadat of Egypt, published in the New York Times, was dismissed by the State Department today as containing nothing new. Department sources declined specifically to comment on Sadat’s allegation that a “secret agreement” existed between the U.S. and Israel dating from the Johnson Administration or Sadat’s assertion that he has been “deceived” by the U.S. Department spokesman Robert J. McCloskey said at today’s news briefing. “We made a judgment not to comment on it (the interview) because in general there was not all that much new revealed.”

Department sources indicated privately later that Sadat has never said he would not provide bases for the Soviet Navy at Egyptian ports and that he has indicated that some Soviet forces would leave Egypt if there was an agreement with Israel. According to the interview with New York Times correspondent C.L. Sulzberger, Sadat said he would continue to provide naval bases for the Soviet fleet, even after a possible settlement with Israel and that he would retain Soviet advisers with the Egyptian Army.

The interview was Sadat’s second to appear within a week in a major American news organ. Last Monday Newsweek published an interview with President Sadat. Observers here said the Egyptian leader was apparently seeking publicity in the American press to counteract the remarks of Israeli Premier Golda Meir during her visit to the U.S. McCloskey told newsmen the State Department did not have a transcript of the Times’ interview and was not asking for one.

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