The Triangular Relationship
Anwar Sadat returned home from Jerusalem to a hero's welcome, but the reception disguised official nervousness over the task of maintaining momentum in the peace process. Sadat devised a move designed simultaneously to split the temporary Soviet-American alliance, induce Washington to join Cairo and Jerusalem in advancing their peace initiative, and restore Egyptian leadership among moderate Arab nations. Several Arab states angry about the visit to Jerusalem met in Tripoli the first week of December and decided to freeze diplomatic relations with Egypt. The severance of relations with Damascus in particular dashed any serious hope that discussions could lead to a rapid settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Sadat wanted the meeting in Cairo to permit Egypt to regain the Sinai without bending either to the Arab states' single-issue desires or to the will of the Soviet Union. Traditional American policy toward the Middle East was based on general support for the stated aspirations of the majority of Arab nations.