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Arab hard-liners eye US-Israeli agreement

By With Analysis From Monitor Correspondents Around The World, Edited By Mark Muth / September 16, 1981



Nicosia, Cyprus

Even though the details of the new "strategic collaboration" agreement between the US and Israel are still sketchy, it already is having its effect in the Middle East, reports Monitor correspondent John Yemma.

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Anti-Israeli (and often anti-US) hardliners of the Arab "steadfastness and confrontation front" -- Libya, Algeria, Syria, South Yemen, and the PLO -- were holding a special summit in Libya Sept. 15 with the new US-Israeli agreement high on the agenda. Israeli officials said that Syria had dispatched envoys to Moscow to try to counter the US-Israeli agreement with a Syrian-Soviet one.

Middle East watchers here believe Arab conservatives still see the sale of AWACS radar planes to Saudi Arabia -- now under congressional scrutiny -- as the prime determinent of Reagan administration standing in the Arab world.