The assassination of King Faisal of Saudi Arabia brought immediate and surprisingly similar reaction in other Arab capitals today.
GV EXTERIOR Arab League head-quarters in Cairo PAN UP Flag at half mast
SV People arriving at Saudi embassy to pay respects
GV INTERIOR Reuters office in Beirut (4 shots)
GV EXTERIOR Streets in Beirut (4 shots)
GV Egyptian embassy in Damascus with flag lowered
SV Jordanian embassy flag lowered
SV People listening to radios (2 shots)
GV Damascus streets
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Background: The assassination of King Faisal of Saudi Arabia brought immediate and surprisingly similar reaction in other Arab capitals today. And the tenor of the reaction was a mixture of sorrow and apprehension.
In Cairo, there was concern that the assassination had removed one of the main props to Middle East stability, as well as depriving Egypt of on of its main sources of aid.
Now, there is uncertainty about how much Egypt will receive in nature from the nation which did more than any other to help rebuild Egypt's economy after the war with Israel in 1973. And at the same time, there now exists some doubt about the future Arab policy on oil and on Israel.
In Beirut, leading newspapers talked of Faisal's death as leaving a major vacuum in Arab affairs and declared that the arabs had lost King sisal at a time when they most needed him.
Fears were also being expressed in the Lebanese capital that the loss of the King's influence would remove one of the cornerstones of American policy in the Middle East and therefore make any kind of permanent settlement even more difficult.
In the Syrian capital, Damascus, flags were at half mast today and the nation's radios played solemn music as the King's body was being laid to rest in his native land.
The feeling in Damascus was that without the guiding influence of Faisal, the Arab nations would find it increasingly difficult to agree a common cause on the issues of oil, Israel and international relations.