Shock in Egypt

Sadat's Death Stuns World

He was seen throughout the world as a man of peace. Perhaps that is why it seemed so incredible that he died in such a violent way.

The assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat sent shock-waves around the world. In Israel, Prime Minister Menachem Begin mourned Sadat's death, saying, "I have lost not only a partner in the peace process but also a friend."

In Washington, President Reagan said, "Today, the people of the United States join the people of Egypt and all those who long for a better world in mourning the death of Anwar Sadat."

There was concern in Washington, Jerusalem and elsewhere about what would happen to Egypt and the Egyptian-Israeli peace process in the absence of the man who, to many people, most embodied the spirit of both.

By week's end, though, worries about Egypt's stability had been somewhat allayed, as the government in Cairo moved to fill the void. Egypt's parliament endorsed Vice President Hosni Mubarak to succeed Sadat, and the nation will probably affirm that choice in a referendum next week.


Despite the apparent smoothness of transition, Secretary of State Alexander Haig Wednesday warned Libya and other Arab countries that the United States "would view with great concern at this juncture any efforts by external powers to manipulate the tragic events of the last 24 hours." He said America would continue to support the peace process and pledged full support for Mubarak.

Yesterday, Haig led an American delegation to Cairo for today's funeral. Included in the entourage were former presidents Jimmy Carter, Gerald R. Ford and Richard M. Nixon, as well as Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger '38, former secretary of state Henry A. Kissinger, and top congressional officials. Reagan decided not to attend for security reasons.

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