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THE SOVIET-EGYPTIAN PACT
1. The Soviet-Egyptian treaty of Friendship and Cooperation signed
in Cairo on May 27, 1971 is the first pact of its kind that Moscow
has entered into with a country that is both non-communist and that
lies far afield from the Soviet border. In substance and scope it
is radically different from the Moscow agreements with such non-
communist states as Finland, Iran, Afghanistan and Turkey whose
territories are contiguous with the Soviet frontiers. These
treaties are essentially limited to the demands of Russian national
security and are construed to ensure that the neighbor territories
shall not be used as bases for attack against the Soviet Union
proper. What makes the treaty uith Egypt so unprecedented and far-
reaching is its resemblance to the treaties governing the relations
ships between Russia and the Wareaw Pact states. A comparison of
the language and pattern of the Egyptian treaty with, for example,
the treaty between the USSR and Czechoslovakia of May 1970, shows a
sufficiently striking similarity to infer that the document signed
in Cairo was at least drafted in Moscow by Soviet policy planners.
There are, to be sure, differences between the Warsaw pact treaties
and the Egyptian accord. But on the purely political level, they
share a common quality and philosophy of a long-term relationship
with the Soviet Union in the case of Egypt 15 years that
embraces virtually every facet of national life: economic, military,
diplomatic, eocLal, cultural and ideological (see attached text).
The Consultation and Military Clauses
2. For Lhe Soviet Union the treaty with Egypt represents an
important landmark. Its terms do not merely formaLize an existing
status-quo of Russian ageistance and cooperation; they grant Moscow
the legality of presence and a say in the affairs of Egypt for the
next 15 years (Article 11). Of particular significance is Article 7,
the "consulting" clause. By it Egypt undertakes "to concert" its
international policies with the Soviet Union and "to regularly
consult...at different levels on all important questions affecting
the interests of both states." This goes further even than the
wording of the Soviet treaty with Czechoslovakia which is less
specific and which avoids the use of the term "concert" and the
principle of "regular" consultations. Article 7 is perhaps the most
indicative clause of the whole treaty with respect to the degree of
tho commitment Egypt has made to the Soviet Union on the political
On the military level, Article 8 spells out the Soviet long-
term commitment to "continue to develop cooperation in the military
field...with a view to strengthening (Egypt's) capacity to eliminate
the consequences of the aggression as well as its ability to stand
up to aggression in general" (meaning military aid in the event of
any future hostilities with another party, not necessarily related
to the Israel-Egyptian conflict).
Treaty Transcends Israel-Arab Conflict
3. Article 7 (regular consultation), Article 8 (military aid
unrelated to the conflict with Israel) and Article 11 (15 years
duration), all indicate that the pact is not merely an instrument
dictated by the needs of Egypt's conflict with Israel and the
Soviet involvement in it. Egypt and the Soviet Union have agreed,
as a matter of principal, to regulate their future relations and to
concert their future policies under all circumstances, no matter how
the Israel-Arab dispute may develop. It is in this respect that the
treaty is a milestone for Soviet policy in the Middle East. It gives
Moscow what it has long sought, namely the political consolidation of
its presence in the Middle East by winning a long-term legal title to
intervene in Lhe affairs of the region's dominant Arab state, Egypt,
irrespective of who controls the reins of government in Cairo and in
a manner that transcends the Israel-Arab conflict.
4. The duration and substance of the treaty are themselves evidence,
if such were needed, that the continued Soviet presence in Egypt is
not simply a function of the tensions generated by the Israel-Arab
conflict nor is it predicated upon the conflict. Hence, the
absurdity or the suggestion that were Israel but to risk making
unilateral concessions this would inevitably bring about a slackening
of the Soviet grip over Egypt and an Egyptian movement away from the
USSR towards the West. The facts of politics and power in the Middle
East since 1967 are themselves a refutation of this dangerous
The Soviet Union's massive investment in Egypt and the political
course it has pursued transcend the conflict with Israel and have
throughout been predicated, in the first instance, upon its own power
interests. Egypt is of crucial importance to the USSR strategy in
the Middle East because it is the advance base for the initiation of
future power moves as the opportunities arise.
JUNE 3, 1971
POLICY BACKGROUND -3- MUNE 3, 1971
Seovet, Strateqy and the Peace Proceav
S.. : e .l:a* e's- cautlv: in insisting upon eatingng t:he intentions: of
th other ds -.among other things through a detailed: negotiation -
has throughout been influenced by this recognition of Soviet
strategy and by the decisive role.the Soviet Union is seeking to
play in dictating that kind of a political solution which would
.erve Rus ia's oun policies and interests. What it oakee through.
::its own :nvolvenasnt in the po-liticai military process th te
maintea nce of conditions for its own prestige and pouv: by
supporting Egypt and the: other Arab countries: in their effort to
lchieve a settlement on their terms: total lIrraelil withdrawal;
maea Arab influx into Israel; sealed borders; an international
;fore:; international guarantees.
mintnance : the balance of pouer on two.. levas:
) T p..aeeatioof I srael defenaivew credibil.ity in .
..'a'e' t a oil-.... 1 n..
"" .:"i il.antfifi.oi.te- piadeid, This -aepaict of the telandty- wauel
particularly hailed by .Sadat in his address to the Egyptian
Peop's' Aae. emibly on June 2, a few days after the accord
S ::. iiged. Hie described th Sviet arms undertake ng. a
S "newf eeient"* *#e wanted this treaty,' ho i aid,
"because it addednewu guarantees to our struggle (against
I.rael) that previously were unatipulated." It would be
S disastrous to minteise the implications of this Soviet
gureltna in sterns of the local arms balance, and the
oa'heequ-nae that would result from a shift- 'in- it..
b) f equal importance :to the- maint enanse of the ares balance
as a factor in preventing the renewal of hostilities is the
necessity to ensure a political-deterrent posture of such
Scrediility that would prevent any calculation on the pert
.of : ... tt LUnion, la hei to beitve that it ght
h" ..'a 4 "
e tnjoy ar ta ud of t relitary action o thuen i f hes had
A ': . . o- .
un tile now.
Atche i thtxt o the treaty.
THE SOVIET-EGYPTIAN TREATY OF FRIENDSHIP AND COOPERATION
MAY 27, 1971
The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the United
Being firmly convinced that the further development of
friendship end all-around cooperation between the Union of
Soviet Socialist Republics and the United Arab Republic meets
the interests of the peoples of both states and helps strengthen
Being inspired by the ideals of struggle against
imperialism and colonialism, and for the freedom, independence,
end social progress of the peoples,
Being determined to wage persistently the struggle for
stronger international peace and security in accordance with the
invariable course of their peaceable foreign policy,
Reaffirming their allegiance to the aims and principles of
the United Nations Charter,
Being driven by a desire to consolidate and strengthen the
traditional relations of sincere friendship between the two
states and peoples through concluding a treaty of friendship and
cooperation and thus creating a basis for their further
Agreed on the following:
The high contracting parties solemnly declare that un-
breakable friendship will always exist between the two countries
and their peoples. They will continue to develop and strengthen
the existing relations of friendship and all-around cooperation
between them in the political, economic, scientific, technolo-
gical, cultural and other fields on the basis of the principles
of respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, non-
interference in the internal affairs of each other, equality and
The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics as a socialist
state and the United Arab Republic, which has set itself the aim
of reconstructing society along socialist lines, will cooperate
closely and in all fields in ensuring conditions for preserving
and further developing the social and economic gains of their
Being guided by a desire to contribute in every way toward
maintaining international peace and the security of the peoples,
the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the United Arab
Republic will continue with all determination to make efforts
toward achieving and ensuring a lasting and fair peace in the
Middle East in accordance with the aims and principles of the
United Nations Charter.
In pursuing a peace-loving foreign policy, the high con-
tracting parties will come out for peace, relaxation of inter-
national tension, achievement of general and complete disarmament
and prohibition of nuclear and other types of weapons of mass
Being guided by the ideals of freedom and equality of all
the peoples, the high contracting parties condemn imperialism and
colonialism in all their forms and manifestations. They will
continue to come out against imperialism, for the full and final
elimination of colonialism in pursuance of the U.N. declaration
on the granting of independence to all colonial countries and
peoples, and wage -unsuervingly the struggle against racialism
The high contracting parties will continue to expend and deepen
all-around cooperation and exchange of experience in the economic
and scientific-technological fields industry, agriculture, water
conservancy, irrigation, development of natural resources, develop-
ment of power engineering, the training of national personnel and
other fields of economy.
The two sides will expand trade and sea shipping between the
two states on the basis of the principles of mutual benefit and
most-favored nation treatment.
The high contracting parties will further promote cooperation
between them in the fields of science, arts, literature, education,
health services, the press, radio, television, cinema, tourism,
physical culture and other fields.
The two sides will promote wider cooperation and direct
connections between political and public organizations of working
people, enterprises, cultural and scientific institutions for the
purpose of a deeper mutual acquaintance with the life, work and
achievements of the peoples of the two countries.
Being deeply interested in ensuring peace and the security
of the peoples, and attaching great importance to concertedness
of their actions in the international area in the struggle for
peace, the high contracting parties will, for this purpose, regularly
consult each other at different levels on all important questions
affecting the interests of both states.
In the event of development of situations creating, in the
opinion of both sides, a danger to peace or violation of peace,
they will contact each other without delay in order to concert their
positions with a view to removing the threat that has arisen or
In the interests of strengthening the defense capacity of the
United Arab Republic, the high contracting parties will continue
to develop cooperation in the military field on the basis of
appropriate agreements between them. Such cooperation will
provide specifically for assistance in the training of the U.A.R.
military personnel, in mastering the armaments and equipment
supplied to the United Arab Republic with a view to strengthening
its capacity to eliminate the consequences of aggression as well
as increasing its ability to stand up to aggression in general.
Proceeding from the aims and principles of this treaty.
Each of the high contracting parties states that it will not
enter into alliances and will not take part in any groupings of
states, in actions or measures directed against the other high
Each of the high contracting parties declares that its
commitments under the existing international treaties are not
in contradiction with the provisions of this treaty and it
undertakes not to enter into any international agreements in-
compatible with it.
The present treaty will be operative within 15 years since
the day it enters into force.
If neither of the high contracting parties declares a year
before the expiry of this term its desire to terminate the treaty,
it.will remain in force for the next five years and so henceforth
until one of the high contracting parties makes a year before the
expiry of the current five-year period a written warning on its
intention to terminate it.
The present treaty is subject to ratification and shall come
into force on the day of exchange of ratification instruments,
which will take place in Moscow in the nearest future.
The present treaty is done in two copies, each in Russian
and Arabic, with both texts being equally authentic.
Done in the city of Cairo on May 27, 1971, which corresponds
to 3 Rabia as Sani, 1391, Hejira.
For the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics,
For the United Arab Republic.
Source : Tass, the Soviet press agency.