Radio stations and newspapers of conservative Arab oil states, including Saudi Arabia, yesterday welcomed Egyptian President Anwar Sadat's decision to suspend the political talks with Israel.
But the government-controlled media of Syria, a leading member of the anti-Sadat Arab front, continued to urge the Egyptian people to overthrow their president.
The newspaper Al Thawra of Damascus said in an editorial. "This dramatic method used by Sadat aims at fooling the Arab public opinion so as to later justify a separate deal between himself and his new [Israeli] friends."
The decision to withdraw the Egyptian delegation from Jerusalem talks "was in itself an admission of failure" of Sadat's peace overture, Al Thawra said.
Editorials in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates said Egypt's withdrawal from the talks presented an opportunity for reconciliation among the Arabs. They called for a new Arab summit to achieve a new unity.
Yasser Arafat, leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said that force, not negotiation, was the way to obtain Palestinian rights. He said the Arab's true enemy was the United States.
While the United States was arming Israel, he said, "Some of its Arab stooges are crawling around their new kaaba [holiest shrine] - the White House." He said the main worry of the White House was his Palestine Liberation Organization.
Muammar Qaddafi, the Libyan leader and staunch opponent of any negotiations with Israel, said that Egypt could have hundreds of tanks, from his country if it decided to go to war with the Jewish state.
Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, denied a report that it had offered to buy the occupied West Bank of the Jordan River and the Gaza Strip from Israel to set up a Palestinian state.
Riyadh radio quoted a Foreign Ministry spokesman as saying that the story in the Lebanese weekly news digest, Middle East Reporter, deserved no comment because "homelands are not a commodity for sale or purchase.