Egypt regaining Arab favor
Cairo — Jordan is seeking to convene a pan-Arab meeting that would, for the first time in three years, include Egypt, the country's leader, King Hussein, said in an interview with the Cairo newspaper Al-Ahram. The new pro-Egyptian sentiments were seen here as a further boost for Egypt's gradual return to the Arab fold.
The King said the recent ending of Israeli occupation in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula was ''a joy for all the Arabs.''
''The return of Sinai and the way it was accomplished was ideal, and the principle followed must be applied to all occupied Arab territory,'' he said.
In the interview, King Hussein also disclosed that Jordan has concluded a ''defensive weapons'' deal with the Soviet Union and he will visit Moscow soon for political talks. It was the first official confirmation of reports Jordan will get Soviet surface-to-air missiles. Arab sources in Cairo said Moscow agreed to provide advanced, mobile SAM-8s.
''We are asking the United States for weapons and it is our right to do so,'' King Hussein said. ''But if the door is slammed shut in our face, we will turn to other sources.'' He was referring to congressional opposition to selling advanced US jet fighters and mobile Hawk antiaircraft missiles to the Arab nation.