The Communist Movement in the Arab World

By Tareq Y. Ismael | Go to book overview

4

The Soviet Union and Arab issues: 1967-1984

During the October, 1973 Arab-Israeli War, the Soviet Union again extended military and diplomatic support and material assistance to its regional allies, Egypt and Syria, and also expanded its relations with Iraq, South Yemen, Libya, and Algeria. It endorsed the UN Security Council's calls for an immediate ceasefire, and negotiations on the basis of Security Council Resolution 242, while upholding both Israel's right to exist and Moscow's recognition of the Palestinians as a “people” or “nation” entitled to exercise their right to self-determination alongside Israel. While the Israelis failed to respond to the Security Council's pleas, pressing on with their advance, the Soviet Union lent strong support to the call of the Geneva Peace Conference, for a framework whereby all parties to the conflict would discuss a regional peace. However, in spite of those considerable efforts during and after the Yom Kippur war, a noticeable decline in Moscow's influence could be seen in the Middle East region. The Egyptian gambit to come to a unilateral peace with Israel under Anwar Sadat altered the strategic balance in the region from 1970, and increasing differences both between the USSR and friendly Arab states and among Arab states themselves, contributed to the accelerated decline of the Soviet influence in the region in the late 1970s and early 1980s. By the onset of Glasnost and Perestroika, Soviet influence had waned even further, with many Arab states preferring to ally with Western powers, including the United States, primarily due to economic incentives. The collapse of the Soviet Union, following its prominence as a co-sponsor of the Madrid Peace Conference at the conclusion of the Gulf War, brought an end to the intricate history of Soviet-Arab relations.


The 1973 war and after

At first glance, the October, 1973 Arab-Israeli war would seem to have provided all of the elements necessary for the further expansion of Soviet influence in the Middle East. Much more so than in 1967, the USSR had proven itself this time a staunch supporter of the Arab cause. Upon the outbreak of the war on October 6, the USSR accused Israel of bearing full

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The Communist Movement in the Arab World
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Tables viii
  • Preface ix
  • 1 - The Heritage of Arab Communist Parties 1
  • 2 - The Soviet Legacy 17
  • 3 - The Soviet Union and Arab Issues: 1919-1967 41
  • 4 - The Soviet Union and Arab Issues: 1967-1984 71
  • 5 - Perestroika and After 84
  • 6 - The Crisis of Communism in the Arab World 102
  • Appendix 1 124
  • Appendix 2 133
  • Appendix 3 143
  • Appendix 4 147
  • Appendix 5 163
  • Appendix 6 180
  • Notes 186
  • Index 205
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