President Anwar Sadat has accused Syria of pulling out of the 1973 Arab-Israeli war after three days and said it lost 1,300 tanks in one day's fighting. He also attacked Soviet arms deliveries to Syria in an interview published yesterday in the authoritative Egyptian weekly October.
The Soviet Union indirectly confirmed on Friday that it has stepped up arms supplies to Syria.
Sadat said Syrian President Hafez Assad told him of Syria's tank losses in the October 1973 fighting, which lasted 18 days.
The Egyptian president criticized massive Soviet arms deliveries to Damascus, saying Syria was over-supplied with arms while Egypt suffered from a shortage. "Already, in 1972, President Assad told me he did not know where to put the arms Moscow was delivering," he said.
Sadat said Syria was totally dependent on the Soviets as a result. Had Egypt, "accepted to give up its independence," he said, it could have had the same arsenal. He added that he "profoundly regretted" the dispute with Assad, saying he lost a friend when the Syrian president took up the anti-Egyptian line of the ruling Baathist party.
While criticizing the Soviet leaders, Sadat described President Leonid Brezhnev as the best "figure in the Kremlin. . . If one day" Egyptian-Soviet relations return to normal, it will be "thanks to the political experience and wisdom of Mr. Brezhnev," he said.
In Amman, visiting British Foreign Secretary DAvid Owen was told that any declaration of principles on a Middle East peace should involve an Israeli commitment to total withdrawal from occupied Arab territories, the official Jordan news agency reported.
Crown Prince Hassan also told Owen that any such declaration should recognize the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, the agency said.
Hassan spoke at length about what the agency termed the "dangers crated by Israel's policy in the occupied territories, including the building of settlements and the deportation of Arabs from the West Bank of the Jordan River and other occupied areas."
Israeli former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin said in Tel Aviv that he thinks direct Israeli-Egyptian negotiations have failed for the present due in part to the "show business" methods used by leaders of both countries.
In an interview with Israel Radio, Rabin said that for nearly 30 years Israelis thought that face-to-face talks with the Arabs would bring about peace.
"Unfortunately, this system has now failed, at least for the time being," he said, blaming both sides.
"There were too many misunderstandings" when Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Sadat met privately, he said.
Blaming israel for what Rabin termed the creation of new facts, he said: "I mean the ghost settlements in the Sinai and tricky settlements under cover of archeological excavations or military camps on the West Bank. It put too many question marks on Israel's credibility in its attempts to achieve peace."