Chandigarh, Tuesday, January25,1972

Frustration in Cairo

AP

PRESIDENT SADAT seems to have been caught in a tr of his own making. His much-advertised “year of decision” has gone without bringing any solution to the West Asian crisis. However, he told the Egyptians the other day that he was all set for the “final war of liberation” with Israel in December, and what prevented him from going into action was the situation in the Indian subcontinent where its major ally, the USSR, “had commitments”. The story, however plausible, has failed to impress Cairo University students who have asked President Sadat to clear their doubts about his decision to fight Israel. There seems to be widespread frustration among students over Mr. Sadat’s year of decision “ending with indecision.” The Egyptian authorities are obviously alarmed at these developments, for Cairo University students are considered to be the country’s political barometer. They fear that President Sadat’s personal prestige and policies might be at stake if the students with their sharp political awareness and impatience, continue to needle the Government. President Sadat’s increasing frustration over his failure to solve the West Asian tangle is clear from the new slogan he has given to his country: The battle is now not against Israel alone but against the United States as well. It is true that the United States is a guilty party in the Middle East happenings. On the dubious plea of maintaining a balance in the region, it has been liberally supplying arms to Israel. Its recent decision to send a number of Phantom fighter-bombers to Tel Aviv has caused great concern in the Arab world. Earlier, it was said to be withholding the supply of Phantoms to pressurise Mrs Golda Meir into softening her stand on the terms of an interim settlement proposed by the State Department.

Tribune Shorts


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