Saudi Arabia today became the first country to withdraw from the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games to protest the Soviet Union's military intervention in Afghanistan.
The decision to withdraw, which follows repeated condemnations by Saudi Arabia's staunchly anticommunist ruling family of the Soviet move into Afghanistan, was announced today by the head of the kingdom's Olympic Committee, Prince Faisal Bin Fahd Bin Abdel Aziz.
"The Saudi Olympic Committee, which represents the Saudi Moslem sporting youth, has decided not to participate in the Olympic Games which will be held in Moscow in 1980, in protest over the Soviet aggression against the friendly and brotherly Moslem nation of Afghanistan," Faisal said in a statement broadcast by Riyadh Radio.
President Carter has raised the possibility of a U.S. boycott of the Olympics because of the Soviet move, and countries in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization also have discussed the idea.
Meanwhile, Egypt announced it has decided to reduce the size of the Soviet embassy staff in Cairo and will consider breaking relations with the Soviet Union because of its military intervention in Afghanistan.
Presidential Affairs Minister Mansour Hassan, following a five-hour meeting of the political bureau of the ruling National Democratic Party, told reporters that Egypt "condemns the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan, which we consider a serious threat not only there but also in the Middle East."