MIDDLE EAST: A Stalemate Leads to Strain

The cooling relationship of Egypt and Saudi Arabia

"I cannot set a date," said Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, "but I am sure of one thing. Sooner or later we shall be signing an agreement." Later would appear to be a stronger bet. Secretary of State Cyrus Vance announced last week that the slow-moving talks would resume at an unspecified date. But the issue of linkage—that is, relating Israeli withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula to political changes for the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip—remains a major stumbling block.

Sadat, who announced that he will not show up in Oslo this month...

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