PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 5666


Photo of Fraser, Malcolm

Fraser, Malcolm

Period of Service: 11/11/1975 to 11/03/1983

More information about Fraser, Malcolm on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 13/10/1981

Release Type: Statement in Parliament

Transcript ID: 5666

Mr. Speaker,
I move " that this House records its sincere regret at the
death on 6 October 1981 of President Mohamed Anwar El Sadat
and expresses to the people of the Arab Republic of Egypt
profound regret and tenders its deep sympathy to his widow
and family in their bereavement".
I advise the House that the Commonwealth Heads of Government in
Melbourne jointly extended their deep sympathy to Madam Sadat,
and to the Government and people of Egypt, and expressed
their horror at the act of outrage which took his life.
The Governor-General has also expressed his deep sadness and
distress over the manner and the fact of President Sadat's death.
The Deputy Prime Minister represented Australia at the funeral.
Anwar Sadat was one of the architects of the movement which
shaped modern Egypt, bringing it to the present level of social
and economic development.
on becoming President of Egypt in 1970 he led his country both
as an outstanding patriot-nd-, a a-man of vision in relations
between nations. It reflected hi-s-great personal courage and
initiative, that he worked so hard to lay the groundwork for a
comprehensive peace settlement in the Middle East.
To embark on this process involved an acceptance of substantial
risks, both domestic and international. His capacity to devote
his energies singlemindedly while bringing his nation with him
was itself a tribute to his greatness.
In 1977, after 30 years of continual warfare in the Middle East,
President Sadat made his historic and courageous visit to Jerusalem
to address the Knesset, and thus opened the path to negotiation
in the quest for peace. And theKf: 1979, the Egypti'an/ Israeli
peace treaty was signed. I said at the time that the world
hoped that work on a comprehensive Middle East settlement would
proceed in the aftermath of that treaty.
President Sadat sought peace to resolve the problems built up,
through mistrust and fear.. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize
in 1978, jointly with the Prime Minister of Israel. / 2

While the peace with Israel, and the stability which has
ensued, is perhaps President Sadat's greatest monument, his
other achievements are not less significant. He realised
that the basic security of Egypt and the Middle East lay in
distancing the region from wider global power struggles, and
to this end he sought to diminish the impact of the Soviet Union
by restricting its influence within Egypt and the area as a whole.
His pursuit of constructive and realistic domestic and foreign
policies brought both to himself and Egypt a reputation for
moderation, balance and constraint in the non-aligned movement.
His death is a great loss for Egypt, the Middle East and
the world, not least because of the senseless and brutal violence
which brought it about. To have lost a world leader of
President Sadat's stature is tragic.
Not everyone, as we know, agreed with what President Sadat
was doing, although everyone must surely respect him for his
courage and his objectives of peace and stability and certainly
no benefits will follow from what has taken place.
We can only hope and trust that President Sadat's achievements
will be sustained and that his vision of a lasting and
comprehensive peace settlement can be realised as a fitting
tribute and memorial to him. We all mourn his death.

Transcript 5666