Profiles: Countries

EGYPT: Arab Republic of Egypt

Nasser led a constant war against Israel, helped by the Soviet Union which supplied Egypt with large quantities of weapons, materials and technicians. In spite of this, Egypt was defeated in 1956 and in the “Six Day War” of 1967.

Between the war in 1967 and Nasser’s death in 1970, there was an arms race in the Middle East which culminated in the war of 1973, which saw a partial Arab victory. However Egypt had achieved its aim and Israel was now being forced to talk. In 1975 Israel returned part of occupied Sinai (including the pertol fields of Abu Rodeiss and the strategic Miltla Pass) to Egypt.

The death of Nasser opened the way for the new Rais, Anwar Al Sadat, to put in place his policy of “infitale” (opening), which was a return to a form of liberalism. The declaired aim was to favour private initiative, both local and foreign. For the peasants or fellaheen, “infitale” was an agrarian reform in favour of the landowners. For the workers in towns, “infitale” brought in a form of rationing, and there were incidents of civil unrest.     1     2     3     4


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