LONDON: There is deep anxiety here and in other Western capitals about stability and peace in the Middle East after the sudden death last night of President Gamal Abdel Nasser who was today acknowledged throughout the Western world as the first Egyptian and Arab leader to emerge as a world statesman in modern times.

In Britain, which was constantly at loggerheads with President Nasser’s Government, even his strongest critics have paid tribute to his patriotism and integrity of the departed United Arab Republic leader. It is admitted here that with President Nasser has also gone a moderating influence in the Middle East and possibly the UAR’s dominant position in the Arab world.

Consequences for the Middle East and Mediterranean of President Nasser’s untimely death would be assessed by President Nixon and Premier Heath when they meet here on Saturday. Anglo-American foreign policy experts are now bracing themselves for more delays and complications in the Middle East peace mission of UN mediator Ambassador Gunnar Jarring. They also fear emergence in the Arab world of divisive and extremist forces who were active in the recent Jordan civil war. Strain of resolving this painful conflict must have aggravated President Nasser’s already indifferent health.

Published in Dawn, September 30th, 2020