Syria has accused the oil-rich Arab nations of threatening the economic stability of the area by failing to carry their share of the burden of arming the poorer arab states against Israel.
This theme was sounded in columns this week in Al Baath, the newspaper of Syria's ruling Baath Party, and in separate interviews today with two Cabinet ministers.
The statements bring into the open the simmering discontent among the Arab nations confronting Israel - Syria, Jordan and Egypt - over what they consider the stingy financial aid handed out by the oil-rich states of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.
"The oil Arabs," wrote senior columnist Amid Khouli in Al Baath Monday," accumulated illegtimate wealth at the expense of the martyrs of the October  war."
The Syrian view that high defense costs are hampering economic growth echoes what U.S. Secretary of State Cyrus R. Vance said he heard from all parties during his Middle East tour.
"If we did not have the burden of defense spending," said Syrian Information Minister Ahmed Iskanadar Ahmed, "we would be a rich country."
The dissatisfaction appears to have reached a point that Syria apparently is willing to wash the Arab world's dirty linen in public. Iskanadar said his interview with The Post was the first time the Syrian position had ever been discussed in such detail, and an Al Baath editorial Sunday threatened to wage a public campaign against the oil states.
"Silence is no longer possible" the editorial concluded.
Aiming his comments at Saudi Arabian fears that moderate Arab governments will turn radical, Iskanadar said defense costs are so great for Egypt, Jordan and Syria - 70 per cent of Syria's operating budget - that they upset economic development and rational planning.
By indirection, Iskanadar echoed Egyptian President Anwar Sadat's responsible for the economic chaos in Egypt, which led to food riots there last month.
"Any change in the policies of those confrontation countries will be to more extremism and more revolution," warned.
"The events in Egypt," he continued, "have proven that the replacement of the present regimes will be communistic. Is this what they [the] largely conservative oil-rich Arab nation want?"
Analysts here said the oil-rich nations have been reluctant to give more money to Egypt whose economy is in such chaotic condition that every cent it gets goes to current expenses, not development.
Syria is a different story. Even though it has economic problems, most observers feel they are manageable.
Iskanader said Syria, Egypt and Jordan presently are discussing their "complaints" of "laziness" among the oil states in providing enough aid, and said the matter will come up at next most observers feel they are manageable.
He declined to specify how much money is involved, but said "we want them to participate on the same level with us on the defense budget," which amounts to about $1.5 billion this year.
Finance Minister Mohammed Imadi said the Arab nation contributions to Syria are "negligible to the burden we carry, and less than we need, less than they promised."
Western analysts here estimate tht Syria received a total of $400 million in foreign aid from Arab and non-Arab sources last year and expects to get $750 million this year.
At a financial summit meeting last month the oil states promised $500 million for Syria, sources here said - about half what it thinks it needs. The Beirut newspaper Al Anwar reported yesterday that the finance ministers of the oil-rich states had agreed to advance Egypt $2 billion to help overcome its financial crisis. Other reports put the amount at $1 billion to $1.5 billion.
In addition, Syria is receiving payments from other Arab states for the 30,000 troops it has in Lebanon, the bulk of the Arab peace force there.These payments, Syrian officials said, barely meet the cost of the operation, but they are coming in regularly.
At the same time, Syria has mounted a campaign - using exactly the same arguments as the Western industrialized states - to bring oil prices down. A column in Al Baath said the oil states profited from the October 1978, war with Israel while the other underdeveloped Arab states are suffering.
"We pay twice," said Iskanadar. "First in the higher cost of oil, and second in the higher costs of goods manufactured abroad."
Moreover, Iskanadar said, the oil-rich countries are creating a brain drain here by luring Syria's skilled workers, especially engineers, with their higher salaries.
Al Baath said Monday that the oil-rich states are "exploiters" who "use Arab solidarity as a hand to be played according to their regional interests."
Fawzi Kahali, a former minister of culture and present head of the Syrian Arab Socialist Union, accused the oil nations of using the wealth for themselves instead of sharing with the rest of the Arab world.
This expresses a view among Arabs here and in Cario that the oil sheikhs are throwing their wealth around in wasteful and distasteful ways. In Cairo, rioters burned down the nightclubs near the pyramids that are frequented by the oil shiekhs.
At a night club here last night, a Syrian pointed disdainfully at a man dressed in Western clothes who was showering cash and jewels on a belly dancer and said, "He's from the Gulf." A Syrian government worker complained yesterday that Saudi Arabia had spent $500,000 on the funeral of a Bedouin sheikh.