• Short Summary

    Israel was represented for the first time at a show of military might by Egyptian forces in Cairo on Monday (6 October).

  • Description

    SV Egypt's President Anwar Sadat getting out of car meeting official at El Nasr City, Cairo

    SV President Sadat laying wreath, and taking salute (2 shots)

    GV President Sadat and generals marching from wreath laying venue

    GV Tanks passing, on parade, Sadat and officials looking on (2 shots)

    GV Soldiers marching, and mounted cavalry (on camels) Israeli ambassador, Eliahu Ben-Elissar, looking on (3 shots)

    GV Armoured personnel carriers passing as planes fly overhead, and more tanks pass by (3 shots)

    Initials AM/

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: Israel was represented for the first time at a show of military might by Egyptian forces in Cairo on Monday (6 October). The occasion was the eight anniversary of the 1973 October War with Israel. The two hour parade was viewed by diplomats from several African countries, but only one envoy, from Oman, represented the Arab world. Other Arab states have largely withdrawn their support from President Anwar Sadat's regime, ever since the March 1979 peace treaty he signed with Israel. The curious aspect of the display was that much of the military hardware on show was Russian, a reminder of the days when Egypt was closer to Moscow than Washington, which is the case today.

    SYNOPSIS: President Sadat's first duty on the anniversary day took place at El Nasr City. Accompanied by government officials and leaders of Egypt's armed forces, the President laid a wreath in remembrance of fallen Egyptian troops. The fourth Arab-Israeli War since 1948 began of 6 October, 1973 when a powerful Egyptian offensive was launched against Israel across the Suez Canal. A subsequent ceasefire on October 22 began a process which ultimately led to a peace agreement between the chief protagonists, Egypt and Israel.

    The agreement has isolated Egypt from the rest of the Arab world. However, Mr Sadat is hopeful that other Arab states will eventually see the wisdom of a spreading Middle Eastern peace.

    During the 1973 war, Egypt was armed by the Soviet Union. Despite the break with the Soviet and closer links with the United States, Soviet military equipment formed a large part of a military display which took place as part of the anniversary celebrations. Although the United States is pouring arms into the country, no new American equipment was unveiled during Monday's display. The Diplomats who watched the review included the late Shah of Iran's son, Reza. By far the most notable guest, however, was the Israeli ambassador, Mr Eliahu Ben-Elissar.

    It's the first time Israel has been represented at the annual show of military might. In previous years Egypt showed Israeli weapons captured in the October war. All that was present on Monday, apart from American F-4 Phantoms flying overhead, was outdated Soviet equipment.

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