Mrs Gandhi’s visit to the Soviet Union has got off to a brilliant start, said the lead report of the day. The Soviet Union’s supreme leader, Leonid Brezhnev, gave full support to her policies, both international and external, and told her: “The Soviet Union has been and will remain a reliable friend of India and the Indian people. Brezhnev said so as Mrs Gandhi reaffirmed India’s “determination to be ourselves and to preserve our identity”. The two leaders spoke after nearly two hours of formal talks when the entire top leadership of the Soviet Union, Brezhnev, Podgorny and Kosygin, turned up to begin three days of discussions with Mrs Gandhi. Sources said the leaders discussed a variety of issues, including China and Bangladesh.
Leftist forces said Israel warplanes tried to attack regions of southern Lebanon but but were driven off by ground fire. The leftist-controlled radio said Israeli military planes “tried to attack Nabatiyeh, Tyre and Sidon”. It said they were “intercepted by ground defence”. It was the first report of Israeli overflights in Lebanon since the Syrian forces swept over the border a week ago to try to end 14 months of of civil strife in Lebanon. Israeli authorities in Tel Aviv, meanwhile, denied the reports.
Syrians Near Beirut
Syrian troops, tanks and jets attacked on two fronts in a major drive to capture Beirut and the port of Sidon where Muslim, leftist and Palestinians bring in their supp-lies. A ceasefire announced by both sides had collapsed.
UK PM Speaks Up
British PM James Callaghan called for calm among the British population to avoid the kind of violence which gripped the Southall district during the weekend. “I urge every one not to allow passion to destroy our reputation as a tolerant, cohesive and unified society,” he told the House of Commons.