Three Weeks in Cairo:
A Journalist in Quest of Egypt's Terms for Peace
I have just come out of Cairo after a three weeks’ stay in Egypt. At the beginning, I was able to find and interrogate a number of objective observers, track down certain opponents of the Nasser regime and win their confidence, even have some good talks with various government officials and three cabinet ministers—two of them members of the Revolutionary Command Council, the small group of young officers that kicked King Farouk out in 1952 and has been directing Egypt’s affairs ever since. But then, suddenly, heavy-footed agents of Military Intelligence began to intervene. It appears that Cairo had me ticketed as a “Zionist.” Or, more loosely, as an enemy of Egypt.
As a result, I was unable to reach Colonel Gamal Abdel Nasser and obtain from him what I was seeking: an off-the-record, frank, but authoritative disclosure of Egypt’s true minimum requirements for a settlement with Israel. Naively, I see now, I had believed it was possible to get such a statement, and by publishing it just like that (though without in any way naming the source of the statement), perhaps contribute a little toward the settlement itself. As things turned out, I was probably the only one, among several dozen foreign correspondents in Cairo during the month, not to have been received by Nasser.
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