Search in
ADD SEARCH FILTER CANCEL SEARCH FILTER

Digital Archive International History Declassified

March 03, 1972

BRIEFING BOOK PREPARED FOR JOSIF TITO ON THE UPCOMING VISIT OF THE PRESIDENT OF UAR ANWAR EL SADAT TO YUGOSLAVIA

CITATION SHARE DOWNLOAD
  • Citation

    get citation

    Broad overview of international relations and current events including preparations for President Sadat's visit to Yugoslavia.
    "Briefing Book Prepared for Josif Tito on the Upcoming Visit of the President of UAR Anwar El Sadat to Yugoslavia," March 03, 1972, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Tito Presidential Archive, KPR I – 3 – A, 3-4. 11. 1972. Translated by Lana Obradovic. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/113625
  • share document

    https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/113625

VIEW DOCUMENT IN

English HTML

Visit of President Sadat

Some general comments on the international situation

Alongside the agreements of the great powers on mutual negotiations and the solving of open problems by compromise, power politics remains very much present in international relations. This is particularly true in those regions in which the interests and influence of the great powers have not been defined and demarked clearly. This contradiction reflects the complexity and controversy of the contemporary international situation, in which the interest of the great powers in avoiding confrontation and preserving a global balance and world peace is constantly intertwined with their aspiration to strengthen their position on local and regional scales. This is done at the expense of the smaller and middle states by exploiting the internal hardships and conflicts among them.

The USA and USSR have established and are maintaining relatively stable overall balance solely in terms of military might, but the United States has the advantage in terms of economic resources and modern technology. This explains why in recent times the United States has been trying to achieve its political goals around the world to a greater degree by relying on its economic-technological potential, thereby reducing gradually its direct military involvement. Under such conditions, it is most likely that the USSR will continue to use its military might as an advantage for some time to come.

Such asymmetry and imbalance between the two super powers can be a source of periodic oscillations and increased tensions in their mutual relations. The continuation and intensification of the arms race presents only one negative aspect of the complex American-Soviet relations, which is the burdening and endangering of the entire international community.

It is to be expected that China, like the USSR, will seek to become one of the world powers by relying primarily on its military might, and especially on nuclear power. Restrictions in this field will most directly influence the size and reach of its international activity, which has clearly

[end page]

manifested in the behavior of China towards the Indo-Pakistani conflict.

The existence of bloc affiliations, inefficacy of the UN collective security system and the inadequate individual self-defense capability of many "third world" states facilitate and abet the use of military power in international relations, and the internal state of affairs of some countries is increasingly used as a motive.

One of the characteristics of the current state of international relations is the fact that long-standing conflicts (Middle East, Indochina, South Africa) are very slowly calming down, while at the same time new focal points of escalation and conflict are springing up (Indian subcontinent, Mediterranean). Such unfavorable development does not seem to be able to put into question the current process of negotiation and easing of tension between the great powers, but it can slow it down.

The position of the great powers toward certain crises and conflicts derives from their global politics and strategies. Because the great powers are now reevaluating and modifying their overall approach to international problems, their attitude toward each crisis will depend on assessment and measurement of the overall interests and force ratios, as well as their engagement. Under such circumstances, it would not be realistic to expect that the great powers will make any significant partial decisions before there is a new global order in place. And force ratio.

The duality of politics and strategy of the great powers (negotiation and agreement on one hand, provocation and abetment of local crises on the other) is a reflection of their primary interest in avoiding mutual military confrontation which could escalate into a nuclear war. In the shadow of nuclear parity and mutual deterrence and intimidation, the great powers get stronger, widening their own positions and weakening those of their rivals in various parts of the world. This is characteristic of the complexity of international relation, in which the threat of force and its use in local conflicts are ever more frequently present. The small and middle states find themselves in the dilemma of how to successfully confront such politics while maintaining a position of independence.

[end page]

Repercussions of the war on the Indian Subcontinent on the situation in the world

The Indo-Pakistani war led to the division of Pakistan and the creation of the new state of Bangladesh, and it will have larger repercussions on the foreign policy orientation of India and Pakistan, as well as on the larger constellation of power and relations in that region. With military victory, India freed itself of the confrontation with Pakistan on its eastern border. It neutralized, at least for now, the Pakistani military threat in the west, and toward Kashmir, and asserted itself as a dominant power in South Asia and significant power in Asia in general. Pakistan experienced decisive defeat and now reduced to its western part, it will be unable to play the role on the subcontinent and on the international stage it did before.

A larger space has been created on the subcontinent for interference and action by the great powers in their battle for positions and influence. Unlike the easing of tension in Europe, in Asia there is a greater possibility of outbreaks of local conflicts.

The Soviet Union, by siding with India, has further strengthened its position on the subcontinent and widened the field of agreement with India. The USSR has made a new decisive penetration into a strategically significant region of the Indian Ocean and strengthened its position at the expense of the United States and China. This is very significant for the Soviet Union in terms of long-term competition with China in Asia.

Chinese support for Pakistan, but without a commitment to effectively engage in the conflict, has suffered a blow with this outcome. This has shown us once again that China is incapable nor does it desire to engage militarily outside of its borders, if there is risk of a conflict with one of the super powers. This is very significant for the Asian states. However, in the United Nations, China has sided with the position of the majority that was made up mainly of the countries of the "third world".

The U.S. has momentarily lost position and prestige in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and among the allies of SEATO [South East Asia Treaty Organization] and CENTO [Central Treaty Organization] pacts. But the U.S. has certainly gained long term from the escalation of the confrontation between the People's Republic of China and the USSR in Asia and further, and has found itself on the side of the majority in the UN by demanding a ceasefire and withdrawal of troops.

[end page]

Given that with the end of the war on the subcontinent, economic problems and development will become the priority, and given that only the United States of America has the capital to meet such large needs, the U.S. will probably regain its presence and influence in this region in a relatively short period of time. The standing of the United States and China in this conflict strongly indicated their parallel interests, which means that the content area of Nixon's talks in Peking has widened.

The prestige of the United Nations has suffered a heavy blow due to the manifestation of its inefficacy in a critical situation. The unity and action capability of the non-aligned countries have been weakened, and new problems on the upcoming agenda (such as the recognition of Bangladesh) can only emphasize that even more. India has currently separated itself from the non-aligned states, and it has suffered a moral and political blow to its image as a peace-loving and non-aligned state, as well as escalated its relationship with the Arab and Muslim states.

Along with the current success of Indian politics, there are future problems springing up connected to the serious underdevelopment in the region and the recognition of the Bangladeshi sovereignty. The most important thing for India is to keep its influence and control over developments in the sensitive region of Bangladesh, especially in the current situation because the government of this state, with its different and somewhat contradictory tendencies, has not affirmed itself yet nor has it established complete control over the territory.

The war and its consequences present difficulties even for our bilateral relationship with India. There is a certain cooling-off of relations, and there are the sharp political actions and propaganda of India against us due to the way we voted in the United Nations. The calm situation on the subcontinent and our recognition of Bangladesh are creating favorable conditions to help us get over current difficulties, but certain differences between the politics of each of us that have been present in recent years objectively increase with each new unfavorable development.

Situation in Indochina

The latest situation in Asia and further has had an indirect influence on the development of the situation in Indochina, and there is a move towards a decrease of the width and intensity of war operations, a gradual departure from the acute phase of the crisis and a removal of the danger of direct conflict between the two great powers.

[end page]

The revival of actions by the liberation forces in recent times and the renewed bombing of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, which are closely connected to the upcoming visit of Nixon to Peking, do not seem to be able to change that course.
The United States is still thinking that the politics of "vietnamization" are bringing the expected results and it seems it will continue on this path. It is trying to reach solutions it could not reach via direct military intervention by supplementing that path with political moves towards China and the USSR.

China is interested in a withdrawal of American forces from Indochina, and is ready to help with that, even if it causes the cooling of relations with the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and other liberation movements in Indochina. It all seems to indicate that the Vietnam war does not have the same importance for China as it did before. Within the current arrangement of the powers and their relations, China is ready to accept the political solution of the problem in Indochina. That would take into account certain U.S. interests in that region and also help limit even more the presence and influence of the USSR in Southeast Asia.

By trying to increase its own political and material presence and influence in the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and in the wider area of Indochina in the current situation, the USSR desires most of all to aggravate the Sino-American agreement concerning the region.

In this situation, the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and the liberation movement of Indochina are interested in making sure their vital interests are not subjected to rivalry and bargaining between the great powers. It is realistic to expect that they will not allow them to take away what they have achieved with a great sacrifice because they are the ones with the keys to the situation in their own hands. The neutralization of Southeast Asia and the non-alignment are becoming more prominent in seeking a solution that could bring peace, security and independence to the people of Indochina.

The basic demand of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and the liberation movements of Southeast Asia to negotiate directly with the United States in Paris, and not via Moscow or Peking, is justified and should be supported, especially by the non-aligned states.

[end page]

In that context, reaffirming the opinions established in Lusaka regarding Southeast Asia seems to currently be very important.

Nixon's newest eight-point proposal does not bring many changes to the American politics of "vietnamization" of the problem. The proposal was concocted in order to neutralize the critiques of Nixon's policies regarding Vietnam by the Democratic Party candidates at the upcoming presidential election and public opinion in the United States, as well as the public opinion around the world. The proposal is also supposed to provide a platform to correspond to the Chinese demands at the upcoming negotiations in Peking. At the same time, the purpose of the proposal is to avoid the quintessential response to the seven points of the Temporary Revolutionary Government of South Vietnam and isolate positions of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam not only towards the USSR and China but also towards the states of southeast Asia.

But, even if it does not change politics, Nixon's new proposal contains some new elements. For the first time, it speaks more decisively about the complete withdrawal of American troops from South Vietnam, about the resignation of Lieut. Gen. Nguyen Van Thieu, and therefore acknowledges that the elections so far in South Vietnam did not mean actual self-determination, etc. With this new proposal, doors are not being closed to the future negotiations aimed at reaching a solution by compromise, which in the current atmosphere is the only possible solution for the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and liberation movement.

Politics of non-alignment

Very significant changes and events in the world require further adjustments of the non-aligned movement so that it can better respond to the demands of our time and continue with the implementation of the programs adopted in Lusaka. This is because the changing politics of the great powers and the newest events can possibly have greater implications on the non-aligned movement member states.

Activation of the non-aligned movement and the holding of the Consultative meeting in New York showed that even besides voiced differences on specific questions, decisions made in Lusaka still remains present platform for action. Of course,

[end page]

in New York, it was not realistic to expect to see the opening of the deep political debate about the further role and place of the non-aligned movement, not only because the repercussions of the new events have not been fully considered by the non-aligned members, but also because the same uncertainties were present among the other states. Even though the Consultative meeting in New York was held under the conditions that must have burdened some participants, it had an impact on the work of the United Nations. It is realistic to conclude that without the additional effort of the non-aligned states, a lot less would have been accomplished by the General Assembly.

The Group of 77 plays an important role in the efforts of non-aligned politics to overcome the issues of hegemony and international economic interdependence and establish fairer cooperation in those fields. Although the Group of 77 was facing some complex problems, the meeting in Lima gave some initial positive results. The process of solving the concrete problems of development has started and therefore the phase of considering the general principles is over. Within that context, the problems of the least developed states are being presented in a harsher way and this will obviously be a priority at the UNCTAD II in Chile this year.

The Consultative meeting, the cooperation of the non-aligned at the 26th meeting of the UN General Assembly and at the meeting of the Group of 77 in Lima have therefore confirmed the aim of the non-aligned states to remain active and secure their role and presence in the current phase of international affairs, and among other things, to represent a necessary bond between last year's conference in Lusaka and the planned Ministerial Meeting.

Certainly, we need to count on all the difficulties that the non-aligned states will face this year which can present themselves in the upcoming meetings. The Indian-Pakistani war is probably one of the most difficult problems; it led to divisions within the movement which can be bridged, but the consequences will be felt for a long time.

It is helpful that the mandate of the permanent Committee of the non-aligned states, whose members are Yugoslavia and the Arab Republic of Egypt, was renewed in New York. That Committee has in a recent meeting discussed First Preparatory Meeting for the Ministerial Meeting which will be held in Georgetown, Guyana from 17th – 20th of February.

The areas of activity and mutual efforts of the non-aligned states under current international conditions can head in the following directions:

- In the direction of restraining the tendencies of polycentrism in international relations which can become a kind of oligarchy of the strongest
- Reconsideration of the tasks of the non-aligned politics under the current conditions of reorganization and current crisis situations, and mutual activity of the non-aligned states in the upcoming period.
- Solution of the developmental problems with a multilateral plan
- Securing of the adequate participation in the solution of current problems regarding the technological developments.

In considering the possibilities of the progressive development of the non-aligned movement itself and its adjustment to the international conditions and needs of the non-aligned states, it seems that it would not be realistic or desirable to make hasty conclusions and changes. This is because the new experiences are only shaping up and being examined now, and also because there needs to be a prior phase of thorough consideration of the process in progress.

In this regard, we attribute importance to the consultations with the Arab Republic of Egypt because the role of our two states is very significant when it comes to the non-aligned plans.

As far as the global assessment of international conditions for the action of the non-aligned states goes, it seems probable that the great powers will contemporaneously seek to use the process of easing to control the process of the emancipation of the countries of the Third World. This is precisely why the non-aligned states have to consider perspectives of their further emancipation and their equal status. The non-aligned must be capable of overcoming the contradictions and strengthen their role and status with their own program of action by supporting in its basis the process of the easing and negotiations.

[end page]

Europe and the KEB (Conference on Security in Europe)

With the successful end of (and inter-German) negotiations about West Berlin, the process of consolidation of relations in Central Europe is concluding and the new conditions for the further and greater impetus for European politics are being created.

The Agreement on West Berlin confirms the tendency of the most directly interested parties, and above all the USSR and DDR, to deactivate this potential center of tension in Central Europe, and to create the needed preconditions for the further stabilization of this region based on the confirmed status quo as the important element of the Soviet's European and West Germany's "Eastern" politics.

Recent meetings of the Warsaw Pact and NATO Pact showed that the orientation of both sides regarding the Conference on Security in Europe is a lot more determined than before, and that many earlier differences were overcome or at least narrowed down. However, in the West the trend of stalling is still present regardless of strong opposing tendencies.

Still, among the member states of NATO there is undoubtedly positive evolution. The acceptance of the Conference on Security in Europe by the United States of America as well as the readiness to immediately start with the first phase of the preparatory procedure as proposed by the Finnish government point to that. Under such conditions, it is expected to see perhaps contacts already this February, and multilateral consultations sometime during the summer of this year. However, it does not seem realistic to expect that the Conference on Security in Europe could take place before 1973. It is interesting that out-of-pact European states are significantly more active in these consultations.

The United States for now is primarily insisting on the question of the reduction of weapons in Europe (Mutual and Balanced Force Reductions) above all, perhaps because their objective is to counter the demands for the unilateral withdrawal of the American forces in Europe and a Soviet peaceful offensive. Other NATO states still seem to be carefully studying the possible implications of the Mutual and Balanced Force Reductions (MBFR) for their and general European security, and within that context the question of the relations between the negotiations of MBFR and the Conference on Security in Europe. USSR is not expressing any need to hurry with regards to the MBFR and is reserved regarding the connection between that negotiation and the Conference on Security in Europe.

[end page]

We are in the current phase most directly interested in seeing the positive movements in Europe not only continue, but also deepen and broaden, i.e. to include the whole of Europe and to bring about the creation of real security and equal relations in Europe by starting with the confirmation of the territorial status quo. In that context, we believe that the Conference on Security in Europe could and should play a positive role.

Mediterranean

The continuation of the crisis in the Middle East without possible solutions on the horizon negatively influence the whole Mediterranean where both the United States and the USSR have significant, long-term, and opposing interests. The presence of China in the Mediterranean for now is limited, while the interests of Western Europe are rising in this region mainly due to economic reasons (petroleum, seaways). Potential hot spots in the Mediterranean (Cyprus, Malta, the internal situations in some states of this region) can be a reason for the new escalations and confrontations that can have negative repercussions on Europe. The process of easing of tensions that has been characteristic of the situation in Europe has not spread to the Mediterranean. Actors outside of the Mediterranean such as the United States, USSR and Great Britain have made a strong impact on relations and movements in the Mediterranean. The presence of their significant armed forces represents the balancing factor, but also the permanent threat to security and independence of the states in that region even in peace. Two great powers are not showing any intention to reduce their political and military engagements in the Mediterranean in the near future. On the contrary, we can expect to see the strengthening and widening of their presence and influence, and therefore the rise of danger of rivalry and confrontation. These are enough reasons for the countries in the region to be very worried about possible unfavorable developments of the situation in this part of the world.

[end page]

About the XXVI Meeting of the UN General Assembly

This meeting is one of the most important, not only because of the adopted documents but also because of the movements of the powers in the United Nations and outside of it. The decision to establish the legal rights of the People's Republic of China significantly influenced the work of the meeting and revealed the new view of the strengthening of the role of the world organization in international affairs. The problem of the universality of the United Nations was solved with the inclusion of the representatives of the People's Republic of China and a new road was opened for the arrival of other states that are still outside the world organization – especially the two Germanies.

As a result of the Chinese arrival, there is a re-balancing among the great powers in the United Nations, and the effects of the relation in the "triangle" were already fully felt at this meeting. This was firstly manifested in the escalation of relations between China and the USSR, and in the bringing of their conflict into the United Nations. The status of the United States is a bit better because during the meeting they were actively seeking to improve relations with both sides of the "triangle".

The monopoly of the two superpowers in the United Nations has been made more difficult with the membership of China and with the smaller and middle states focusing on more independent action and reaching a more equal status. At the same time, the reaching of a consensus has become more difficult and complex. No great power is able to automatically secure support of its views and suggestions.

The adoption of the Resolution on the Middle East also presented a significant result of this meeting because the General Assembly for the first time with a great majority expressed the principle of the prohibition of territorial conquest by force.

The negative bottom line element of the meeting is the impossibility of the United Nations to determinedly intervene in the conflict on the Indian Sub-continent to prevent the Indo-Pakistani war and this can have long-term negative effects on relations within the United Nations.

(According to the documents of the Federal Secretariat for Foreign Affairs)

Belgrade, February 1st, 1972.

Visit of President Sadat

ASSESSMENT OF THE SITUATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST

The development of events in the Middle East does not leave room for optimism for a fast, partial or global solution of the crisis. The key to its solution still remains in the hands of the United States and the USSR. That is the basic reason for the current situation.

The relations between the forces remain unchanged in this region, and the political and economic interests of the two great powers are not threatened. The current situation is favorable to them and they would like to keep it like that for longer.

For now, the Arab states are a second-class factor in the solution of the Middle East problem. They do not represent a force that could with political or military tools coerce Israel to withdraw from the occupied territories.

On the other side, this unchanged situation is convenient to Israel. It kept its military-technological superiority (only during 1971 it purchased military equipment from the United States valued at one billion dollars, and recently they announced the arrangement of the purchase of an additional 120 "Phantoms") and secured undisrupted and peaceful development that contributed to the economic growth of 11.5 % just in the last year. By using the rivalry of the great powers and by the mere fact that it represents the backbone of the American presence in the Middle East, Israel wants to wait for the most favorable moment to impose its solution of "secure and safe" borders on Arabs.

One can say that the United States somewhat improved its positions in one part of the Arab world. Now they control the situation in Jordan and have significantly become closer to Sudan. However, the United States has not strengthened its positions regarding the main Arab partners. That is why their aim will continue to be the exploitation of the weaknesses and fractures in the Arab world with the known economic and diplomatic tools.

[end page]

Right now the United States is most interested in negotiations about the so-called interim solution. The news of the Israeli acceptance of indirect negotiations shows that the United States managed to convince Israel to accept indirect negotiations in New York and therefore did them a favor by allowing the new shipments of "Phantoms". The United States, in fact, wants to secure maximum guarantees for Israel, to keep the initiative and to prolong the cease-fire and that way to coerce Egypt to need to lean on the United States and West in their search for an exit – in order to realize their goal of regaining their status among the Arab states and weakening the Soviet presence in the Middle East. In realizing these goals, the United States will certainly seek to avoid escalation and confrontation with the USSR and to make Israel more flexible and less vociferous in 1972, especially to meet the needs of the upcoming election.
Even though it cannot be indifferent to the future of relations between the United Arab Republic and the Soviet Union, the politics of Washington will continue to act in the direction of avoiding armed conflict in the Canal and keeping the situation under control. The United States hopes that with different tactical moves and maneuvers, it will be able to get Egypt to ease off and eventually bring it to the negotiating table.

Positions of Egypt and its intent to solve the Middle East crisis

Besides the concessions and elastic positions of Egypt, the last year did not show a more determined way out of the current stand-off. Egypt did not reduce the intensity of its efforts and diplomatic-political activity which has given it a wider support and recognition in the world. However, under the conditions that do not give much hope for finding a solution any time soon, the position of Egypt has been made more difficult by the movements in the "triangle" of the great powers which have also taken world attention to the other side. That way the situation in Egypt has become even more complex and delicate. Namely, in its leadership there is a dilemma about the direction that they should take and where to direct

[end page]

its future activities. Yet, by keeping in mind the significant result of voting on the Middle East in the General Assembly, we can expect Egypt to direct its activities in the following ways:

Renewal of the Yaring peace initiative, which would be eventually reactivated by the new proposals;

The continuation of the political dialogue with the United States. Evolution of the American positions and readiness of the United States to approach the crisis with the concrete solutions still remains a crucial question for the Egyptian leadership. This leadership will most likely accept the American actions regarding the Canal and indirect talks via Sisak, but only under the condition that this will make the solution of the Middle East crisis more realistic;

The continued alignment with the USSR, which seems to be more of a long-term nature. Egypt will try to deepen the connection of the USSR to the solution of the crisis. It is not likely, however, that the USSR will change its known positions any time soon, although we can expect some modifications of them specifically in the way of more expressive political support for the Arabs;

Possibly, Egypt will base its future actions on its assessment of the relations between the USA and USSR, and the movement in the "triangle" of the great powers and seek to find the space to act;

With all of this, we should not expect unilateral alignment of Egypt to any of the superpowers, but the politics of balance between them with the possible gradual utilization of the Chinese factor;

Attracting attention and connection to the Western European states to the problem of the Middle East, i.e. the europeanization of the Middle Eastern crisis, will also take a significant position in the political calculations of Egypt. Egypt will try to link the security of the Middle East to the security of Europe by seeking at the same time to in some way include the Middle East crisis in the current activities regarding the organization of the Conference on Security in Europe.

[end page]

Egypt will not neglect attempts to mobilize all Arab forces and potential in case of a confrontation with Israel. Even besides the present differences among the Arab states, the Arab factor can be successfully utilized for the sake of political support and as a source of help and a method to blackmail the West with united Arab politics regarding the sale of petroleum. According to the current state of affairs in the Arab world, the fact is that in the case of war, Egypt can only count on effective help from Syria and nobody else;

Lastly, Egypt can surely count on the support of the non-aligned movement among whose members special place is given to Yugoslavia.

The time factor in the solution of the crisis is still very important for the positions of Egypt and its leadership. The absence of the more determined positions emphasizes the dangers of risk and sudden changes both regarding its relations with Israel and within the country. Because of all of this, the leadership of Egypt seems to be ready for the new approaches, and even additional concessions, which would not represent a capitulation or a threat to the national rights and dignity of the country. Within such a context, direct dialogue between the two sides is probably not unacceptable on the condition that Israel first more determinedly expresses its readiness to accept the Resolution of the Security Council. There is also an option of eventually accepting Israel's demand to activate Yaring's mission without the giving of "previous" conditions.

(According to materials of the Embassy in Cairo and materials of the Federal Secretariat for Foreign Affairs)

Belgrade, February 1st 1972.

[end page]

Group for questions of foreign politics

Note

The following materials are submitted regarding the upcoming visit of President Sadat to Yugoslavia:

1. Internal situation in Egypt
2. Assessment of the situation in the Middle East
3. Some notes about the situation in the world and current international problems
4. Bilateral relations of Yugoslavia and Egypt

While choosing the materials we were guided, among other things, by the interest expressed earlier by the Egyptian side regarding questions that they would like to exchange an opinion on.

Belgrade, February 1st, 1972.

Milos Melovski

[end page]

INTERNAL SITUATION IN EGYPT

The development of the internal political situation in recent times is characterized by the more expressive attempts of President Sadat to remove the consequences of the developments of the Middle Eastern crisis domestically. This is the case even more since the "decision year" did not result in appropriate changes in the solution of the crisis, and the degree of uncertainty regarding its future in the wider public has increased as well as pessimism regarding the possibility of finding a political solution.


The government program as a whole and the effects of the announced economic and other measures should positively affect the consolidation of the internal forces and strengthen the national front. The emphasis on the battle preparedness, possible solution of the crisis by war, and emphasis on the long-term preparedness are firstly meant to deal with the internal needs for the sake of psychologically calming the public and maintaining maximal mobility of the nation in the case of war. They want to obtain a positive effect in society by seeking to divide the burden of the preparations equally among different segments of society.

The beginning of the new process of democratization and liberalization domestically, regardless of how much they positively affected everybody's mood in the country, is objectively opening the possibility for the organization of the anti-regime forces, from both left and right. This has already to a certain extent manifested in the recent student demonstrations. This student movement has shown that societal oscillations, even those smaller ones, can heat up psychological tensions in other areas and provoke wider disruptions even under current conditions of relative stability. Sadat's behavior during these demonstrations and his reactions to them have confirmed the readiness of the leadership to firstly consult with the representatives of societal forces when making decisions regarding all big questions.

With the measures of the reorganization of the state and political power, Sadat has succeeded in liquidating "centers of power" as sources of danger where the opposition forces can gather and act within the leading structures of the power.

[end page]

With these measures whose process basically ended with the naming of the new cabinet of Dr. Siddiqi, Sadat has created a relatively new group that he tied closely to himself with the intention of having them as his support for a time to come. He, however, is seriously counting also on support from the wider segments of the society, which is not only necessary to him for strengthening his personal position and affirmation within the country, but also as an important element of the pressure on the current structure in line of realization of the adopted action program.
As a part of his strategy, Sadat is counting on the support of the army as a measure of stability in the country. Even though the army does not have a direct influence on internal political movements, it still represents the most organized force and basic lever on which the regime can rely long-term. However, the further behavior of the army is conditioned by the development of the crisis and the possible ways of solving it.

In good measure, the current domestic politics of President Sadat correspond to the realities of the country which need to be taken into account by all political forces. To be exact, Sadat seeks to widen his thesis of "national unity" to give all political forces a chance for activity within his declared political program. Such politics by President Sadat in a number of ways provide an answer to the known dilemmas that are present because of the comparison of his politics to Nasser's course. The fact is that the crisis as well as the internal situation are forcing President Sadat to adapt to the new and significantly changed conditions which require certain revisions and leaving out some concepts which were characterizing the official politics in the period of post-Nasserism. Such a trend at the same time follows the view of continuing the basic course of revolution and the need to preserve what Nasser achieved and left behind.

[end page]

Economic situation

Today, the economic situation in Egypt is pretty difficult. Even besides certain positive production results achieved in 1971, due to the rise in internal spending, increased military spending as well as public administration and investment spending, the situation has worsened vis-à-vis balance of accounts. The deficit at the end of 1971 was 216 million dollars, while the total debt of Egypt to foreigners is estimated to be around 8 billion dollars. That is a huge amount especially if we keep in mind that the gross domestic product of Egypt in 1971 was around 5.7 billion dollars, or 164 dollars per capita.

In such a situation, the new government is forced to adopt rigorous measures of saving. They have taken a few such measures like: reorganization of the state apparatus, decrease in the monthly income of certain categories of public employees, decrease in budget spending, setting limits on imported consumer goods and an increase of tariffs on certain imported goods up to 50 per cent.
The government is counting on the fact that the combination of such measures as well as an increase in imports and delay in debt payments this year is somehow going to succeed in saving the internal economic balance.

In reality, the latest Egyptian economic politics are aiming at reaching three basic goals: obtaining higher economic efficiency with the more solid organization of the leading bodies and of economic production units themselves; making sure to utilize all the possibilities that foreign investment can provide to speed up the economic development of the country; and change leaders in companies and administration.

Reorienting themselves to attract more foreign capital is by its significance and by its possible consequences, the biggest and most important factor of reorganization and novelty in the Egyptian economic system. The opening

[end page]

of doors to foreign economic capital at the moment shows Egypt is seeking to preserve as much economic freedom in the face of increasing pressure by the Eastern European states.

In its totality, it is not only about the package of exclusively technical and economic measures, but such moves which can besides the economic results also have very important political repercussions domestically and on the relations of the Arab Republic of Egypt with foreign states long-term.

According to the materials of the Federal Secretariat of Foreign Affairs

Belgrade, February 1st, 1972.

[end page]

Group for questions of foreign politics
Number 34
February 3rd, 1972

VISIT OF PRESIDENT SADAT
Some notes about the possible content of the talks of President Sadat in Moscow and the newest standpoints of Israel

In Egypt, they anticipate that President Sadat in Moscow will find out what they can expect from the USSR, i.e. how willing the USSR is to respond to their current and future needs and aspirations. They are thinking this way because of their analysis of the current relations between the great powers and their degree of involvement in the Indian-Pakistani war. They believe that the significant engagement of the USSR on the Indian Subcontinent will be long-term, and that this is why Egypt needs to revise its current processes because in this phase they have to make life and death decisions regarding the solution of the crisis in the Middle East.

President Sadat will probably also try to find out if the USSR was informed and was consulted about the new US proposal on an interim solution to the crisis, the opening of the Canal as well as about the Soviet preparations and views on the Middle Eastern crisis in lieu of the upcoming visit of President Nixon to Moscow.

In Egypt, they think that the USA does not aim to speed up the solution of Middle Eastern problems, rather on the contrary.

[end page]

After the concession they were forced to make on the Indian Subcontinent, the USA should be expected to stay on the offensive in other regions. That is how Egypt has assessed the renewed bombing of South Vietnam and the increased engagement of the United States in the Middle East and Mediterranean (new sales of "Phantoms" to Israel, decision regarding the production of offensive American weaponry on Israeli soil, news about turning Piraeus into a US and NATO base). These are going to be the questions that Sadat will try to obtain an answer on from the Soviet leadership and find out where they stand.

On the contrary to such pessimistic assessment by the Egyptians, the Americans have increasingly released news about the complicity of Israel as well as Egypt to negotiate in New York under the US mediation. That is why, for example, Rogers has told our Ambassador in Washington that he believes that some type of a negotiation will take place and that the Americans will try to have better contacts and a better understanding with Egypt, as well as help it; they also think that it is important that the talks begin and that the interim solution is possible.

The Ambassador of Egypt to Yugoslavia officially said on February 2nd of this year at the Federal Secretariat of Foreign Affairs that the United States, Israel and other Western European states are seeking to inhibit Yaring's mission and annul the recently adopted Resolution by the General Assembly on the Middle East crisis. They would also like to see Yaring removed by making it appear that his action did not do anything to solve the crisis. In Egypt, they believe that all of this is done with one aim – to bring back the solution of the crisis to the very beginning and that way impose the direct or indirect talks with Israel without any pre-conditions on Arabs.

[end page]

In lieu of what was already said, we also point out the interesting interview that Golda Meir gave recently to the New York Times. In that interview Golda Meir used the Indian-Pakistani war to define more resolutely the stand of Israel towards the solution of the Middle Eastern crisis. Israel, Golda Meir said in that instance, not only does not change its views, but it feels even safer. By emphasizing that "future arrangement of relations with Arabs should anticipate changes of borders with neighbors" Golda Meir has unequivocally communicated the intent of Israel to keep the big part of occupied Jordanian and Syrian territories and secure the corridor to Sharm-al-Sheik, as well as maintain control over the holy sites in Jerusalem.

By invoking the Indian-Pakistani war, Golda Meir once again tried to justify the Israeli insistence on "secure borders" and refusal to accept the international borders. Regarding that, she emphasized that Pakistan, although a member of two pacts, had to fight on its own and that the alignment with the United States did not benefit it. That is why Israel cannot accept, or believe in international guarantees nor those of the great powers, and therefore the only way to defend its sovereignty are the "secure borders". From Golda Meir's statement, one can see a certain sense of suspicion, or rather fear from the possible results of the upcoming talks of President Nixon in Moscow.

(According to materials from the Federal Secretariat for Foreign Affairs and our Embassy in Cairo)

Milos Melovski

Belgrade, February 3rd, 1972.

[end page]

NOTES

About the talks of the President of the Republic with the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt Anwar Al Sadat, February 4th and 5th, 1972 in Brioni.

The Member of the Federation Council Edvard Kardelj was present during the talks. President Sadat extended regards to President Tito from Brezhnev and Kosigin, with whom he held thorough conversations just a day before in Moscow. Podgorni did not participate in the talks due to his alleged illness. Sadat does not discount the possibility that Podgorni was purposely dropped from the talks because during the previous talks he had been very inflexible and untrustworthy. Talks were difficult and sharp this time, especially at the beginning. Sadat openly told Brezhnev and Kosigin that he is bitter because the Soviets failed to fulfill some obligations they have taken on during his last visit to Moscow in October of last year. In that instance, they agreed on bigger shipments of armaments, airplanes and the newest pontoon bridges for the crossing of the Suez Canal. Egyptians now only have the old Soviet bridges which had already been used during World War II and whose construction takes a whole two hours. According to the agreement, the mentioned armaments were supposed to be shipped by the end of 1971, but up until today nothing has arrived. Sadat said that is not the first time that the Soviets have not fulfilled their obligations.

[end page]

The same was the case with the shipment of the TU 22 airplanes which were promised in May of last year during the signing of the Soviet-Egyptian Agreement of Friendship and Cooperation; and which were promised again during the visit of Ponomarjev in July of the same year, and yet they are still waiting for them. The earlier given explanations were unconvincing, and in recent times, they do not even give explanations any more. For a few months, the Soviets have been simply keeping quiet. Besides that, they have been trying to get involved in the way the shipped equipment and armaments are being used. A typical example is that of four scout planes which were delivered last March and which have shown great potential during scouting missions in Sinai and Israel. They were used, however, only four times because the Soviet crew refuses to fly without prior approval from Moscow. Sadat spoke very openly about all of this with Brezhnev and Kosigin. In the beginning, it was very difficult, but by the end they had reached a mutually satisfying agreement, so Sadat said that he was content with the visit and talks in Moscow. As far as the non-completed deliveries of armaments and airplanes is concerned, Brezhnev said that he is personally responsible for that. He stopped the deliveries because he did not want anything to happen in the Middle East prior to Nixon's visit to the Soviet Union. Sadat told him that he could understand that but that he should have told him this earlier. Silence can only cause further serious misunderstandings. President Tito asked whether Brezhnev talked about the stand that USSR will take regarding the Middle East during the talks with the Americans.

[end page]

Sadat responded that Brezhnev said he will exert pressure on the Americans but he did not precisely explain how.

Sadat further added that even without taking into account the Soviet failure to deliver the armaments, he decided that Egyptian troops should cross the Suez Canal by the end of 1971, and entrench themselves at least 50 kilometers from its eastern coast so that the new conditions for the opening of the Canal can be established. But the Indian-Pakistani war prevented him from doing this. President Tito asked whether the crossing of the Canal and entrenchment of the Egyptian troops at approximately 50 kilometers from the its eastern coast would demand the operation of wider proportions or would the diversion be enough. Sadat answered that this would be a limited operation because it would not aim at returning Egyptian borders where they were prior to June 5th.

Meanwhile, Sadat continued, the military-political situation in the Middle East has significantly changed. American defeat on the Indian Subcontinent has disturbed the former balance of forces in that region, so the Americans are seeking to compensate by gaining more resolute domination in the Middle East. That is important, so that Nixon is not going to the Moscow talks in a position of weakness. That is why Americans have promised Israel at the beginning of this year not only the new deliveries of Phantoms, but also a license for production of Phantoms and other modern American armaments in Israel itself. The revision of American military-political strategy speaks to the fact that the Americans

[end page]

have in recent times sought to block the talks of four and two in the Middle East as well as Yaring's mission. They are now offering their mediation service in the indirect talks between Egypt and Israel regarding the opening of the Suez Canal. It is clear that any solution under American sponsorship would be favorable to Israel and as such is unacceptable to Egypt. In former times, Americans have at least tried to seem unbiased but now they are more and more openly siding with Israel. Soviets do not react to this at all. They are being passive and handing over all initiatives to the Americans. In such a situation, there are not real expectations for a political solution that would be acceptable to Egypt. Security Council Resolution of 1967 speaks of a package of measures for the solution of the Middle Eastern crisis. Then there were discussions about the separate agreements of Israel with each Arab state, then even of an agreement strictly between Israel and Egypt. Now they are already talking about the partial withdrawal of Israeli forces as a temporary solution which would make possible the opening of the Suez Canal. That temporary solution, Comrade Kardelj noticed, could possibly become the final solution. Israel is already talking about keeping Sharm-al-Sheik and the eastern part of Sinai. Egypt cannot accept that, just like it cannot accept giving up of any of its territories. The only thing that remains then is the military solution. That is what Sadat told the Soviet leadership and asked them to make it clear whether they are ready or not to deliver special modern armaments to Egypt without which they cannot effectively oppose Israel.

[end page]

It is silly to claim, he told them, that these are secret, because those same secrets are being sold in the western markets. He told them that he will be forced to seek other sources if Soviets continue to be hesitant with the deliveries of the modern armaments. Regarding this, he also told them that King Faisal of Saudi Arabia has already given him 40 "Lightning" airplanes and that he is ready to deliver a high number of French produced tanks with the most contemporary electronic equipment. It is interesting, Sadat noted, that the Russians offered the license to produce the MIG 21 MF after they heard about the delivery of "Lightnings" from King Faisal. The offer was accepted, but it does not solve the basic problem. MIG 21 MF's are great planes, but they are superb intercepting planes and Egyptians need most hunter-bombers, which would shake up the Israeli confidence based on their ownership of Phantoms. That is why Sadat is considering the possibility of accepting, via Libya, the British license for the production of the "Jaguar" hunter-bomber, which is part of the British-French production. Together with the license, the British would deliver also an additional 50 Jaguars. These are supersonic airplanes with modern equipment and are capable of long flights carrying up to 5 tons of bombs. The knowledge that Egyptians are willing to fight Israel for their goals would undoubtedly have an effect on Israeli self-confidence and stubbornness, because it is widely known that Israel cannot allow for any more destruction and especially no more losses of life. Therefore, it is the intention

[end page]

of Egypt, to secure the modern hunter-bombers soon, and to rely ever more on its own forces by using the foreign license, both Soviet and others.

President Tito supported such orientation. He said that in 1948 we were under exceptionally difficult circumstances and we sought to increase the production of our own armaments, which was shown to be completely justified. He emphasized that our military production has already reached a relatively high level of development. Comrade President mentioned the possibility of widening Yugoslav-Egyptian cooperation on the military field. Without getting into details, he suggested that a delegation of Egyptian military experts should make a visit to Yugoslavia so that they can, face to face, learn about the possibilities and make deals with Yugoslav experts on the eventual concrete arrangements.

Comrade President was interested in the relations of Egypt with other Arab states and Sadat spoke about that. He said that relations with Syria are excellent. The two governments have the same political positions, and the two armies are under the united command. They have very good relations with Libya. Gaddafi was recently in Aswan. During that visit, they agreed on tighter cooperation in industrial production and gaining foreign licenses. Egypt has industrial capability, while Libya has capital, and together they can achieve many things that are in their mutual interest. The production

[end page]

of "Jaguars" according to the British license was one of the most important, but also not their only mutual undertaking. They also anticipated, for example, the construction of the united commercial fleet. Here, they are also counting on the Yugoslav cooperation because the possibilities and respectability of Yugoslav shipbuilding is well known to them. The payments would not represent a problem. Libya would be paying for it all in hard currency. If Yugoslavia is interested in receiving Libyan oil, something can also be arranged.

Comrade President said that the cooperation in the field of shipbuilding would certainly be possible and desirable. He highlighted the enviable success that our shipbuilding industry has had in the past few years. He mentioned the construction of five tankers of 250,000 tons in Pula shipyard. He expressed his conviction that there would be no problems regarding the conclusion of mutually satisfactory arrangements for the building of Egyptian-Libyan ships in our shipyards.

Sadat thanked him. He continued his presentation on the relations of Egypt with other Arab states, and said that the relations with Sudan are pretty good. They are also good with Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, and Sadat is a personal friend of their rulers and knows that he can surely count on their support in the case of conflict with Israel. The delivery of "Lightning" planes speaks of that as well as the promised delivery of French tanks from King Faisal. Currently, there is also a group of Egyptian pilots being trained in Saudi Arabia.

[end page]

The relations with Algeria and Iraq are, however, tense because of the extreme and irrational politics of their governments, according to Sadat. He cannot count on Morocco and Tunisia because they do not understand the problem with Israel. Jordanian King Hussein has sold out to the Americans. After all, the facts speak for themselves, and Israel is holding only two regiments along the 500-kilometer-long Jordanian-Israeli border.

How are Syrian armaments? – Comrade President asked.

Weak, Sadat answered. Syria has created a large army of 250,000 people, which was not necessary and it did not provide adequate armaments. To make it worse, Syria's airports are completely unprotected. That is the reason why Sadat is not keeping even a part of his air fleet in Syria. That is a pity, because he could use Syrian airports to bomb Israel even with "Sukhoi" airplanes, which can be used for very little anyway. Unlike Syria, and because of what they learned during the June war (1967), Egyptians have completely secured their airports and main facilities in the country with modern antiaircraft batteries and SAM 1, 2, and 3 missiles.

Comrade President was then interested in the situation in Egypt itself. Sadat said that the political situation after the changes that were completed in May of last year, the situation as a whole is good. However, it is indisputable that there is a feeling of discontent and disappointment due to the delay in finding a solution and the continuation of the occupation of the Arab territories. In that light

[end page]

we need also look at the recent student protests. Most of the students are disoriented, so they are deceived by the slogans. Among the slogans that were prominent during the recent demonstrations were many of the extreme left variety and Maoist calls, including calls to the "cultural revolution". After the talks with President Sadat, the situation at the University has calmed down. There are still sporadic incidents, but they are not finding much support. Sadat has openly told the students that he cannot accept their demands because they come from incomplete knowledge of the real situation and they do not take responsibility for the destiny of the country. He also told them that internal disunity in the current situation could only benefit Israel.

Economic situation in itself is good, but there is a worry because of the decrease in necessary investments. The investments are already down 10 per cent, and the rising military spending will require a decrease by another 10 per cent.

As far as the immediate tasks are concerned, Sadat emphasized that in the next six months, due to the Soviet demand not to take any military action before Nixon's visit to Moscow, they will be devoted to strengthening the internal fronts and preparing the population for war. They will work on organizing the food supplies and electric energy supplies in case Israel renders incapable one or more of the Egyptian damns – and Egypt has 10 of them in total. It is the intention of Egypt in the subsequent period to work on its own forces as the best guarantee of returning its legitimate rights. Soviet help is still needed and they

[end page]

still count on it, but it is a fact that the Soviets are difficult, untrustworthy and slow in making decisions, to which the "triangle" system surely contributes.

President Tito thanked him on this open talk and information. Comrade Kardelj then informed President Sadat about the situation in our country, recent instances of nationalism, their sources and organizers, measures taken and still taking to remove them and the positive results that have already been achieved.

At the end, President Tito invited President Sadat to officially visit Yugoslavia. The invitation was with content accepted by Sadat. President Sadat expressed his hope that he will be able to visit Yugoslavia in the spring, and most likely in April. He would also bring his family in order to combine this official visit with a few vacation days.

Notes submitted by:
Lijana Tamabaca