Egypt After Sadat

April 23, 1982

Report Outline
Mubarak's New Cours
Post—Colonial Egypt
Emphasizing the Economy
Special Focus

Mubarak's New Cours

Sinai's Return and the Peace

President sadat's murder last October ended not just the life of a world political figure but, it is now becoming apparent, spelled the beginning of profound changes in the remarkable course he had steered Egypt in quest of peace in the Middle East and prosperity at home. His successor and former subordinate, Hosni Mubarak, promises to pursue the Camp David peace process which Sadat set in motion with his historic mission to Jerusalem in November 1977 (see Chronology). But foreign diplomats in Cairo say privately they expect Israel's return of the last third of the Sinai Peninsula (see map), April 25, to mark a turning point in Egypt's foreign policy. Once Egypt has regained the territory it lost in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, according to their reasoning, it can slowly turn its back on Israel and mend its fences with Arab neighbors.

Egypt has, nevertheless, repeatedly reaffirmed its commitment to a lasting peace with Israel. The economic and psychological drain since the 1967 war remain firmly etched upon the minds of most Egyptians. The 1973 war, though a great morale booster, further drained the economy and sent Sadat off in pursuit of economic liberalization and peace with Israel, even at the expense of Egypt's alienation from the rest of the Arab world.

Egypt had been Israel's foremost enemy from the time the Jewish state declared its independence in 1948. Egypt was the strongest Arab state militarily, and it shared a long border with Israel. Egypt's leadership in the Arab world also reflected its history and geography. It is the geographical center, linking Africa and Asia. It is also by far the most populous Arab nation, with 44 million people today, and it claims the world's oldest continuously recorded civilization, dating from 3200 B.C. But the Arab nationalism that Egypt espoused was of more recent vintage, displayed to the world in a 1952 military coup and Gamal Abdel Nasser's emergence as leader.

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May 2009  Middle East Peace Prospects
Oct. 27, 2006  Middle East Tensions Updated
Jan. 21, 2005  Middle East Peace
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Mar. 06, 1998  Israel At 50
Aug. 30, 1991  The Palestinians
Oct. 19, 1990  The Elusive Search for Arab Unity
Feb. 24, 1989  Egypt's Strategic Mideast Role
Apr. 15, 1988  Israel's 40-Year Quandary
Mar. 02, 1984  American Involvement in Lebanon
Nov. 12, 1982  Reagan's Mideast Peace Initiative
Apr. 23, 1982  Egypt After Sadat
Jan. 04, 1980  Divided Lebanon
Jul. 20, 1979  West Bank Negotiations
Dec. 01, 1978  Middle East Transition
Jan. 13, 1978  Saudi Arabia's Backstage Diplomacy
Oct. 29, 1976  Arab Disunity
May 16, 1975  Middle East Diplomacy
Sep. 13, 1974  Palestinian Question
Dec. 12, 1973  Middle East Reappraisal
Apr. 25, 1973  Israeli Society After 25 Years
Aug. 19, 1970  American Policy in the Middle East
Apr. 25, 1969  Arab Guerrillas
Aug. 02, 1967  Israeli Prospects
Jul. 06, 1966  Middle East Enmities
Apr. 14, 1965  Relations with Nasser
Aug. 17, 1960  Arab-Israeli Deadlock
May 27, 1959  Middle East Instability
Jun. 04, 1958  Nasser and Arab Unity
Oct. 02, 1957  Soviet Threat in Middle East
Sep. 18, 1956  Suez Dispute and Strategic Waterways
May 09, 1956  Middle East Commitments
Apr. 13, 1955  Middle East Conflicts
Mar. 31, 1954  Security in the Mideast
Oct. 23, 1952  Israel and the Arab States
Jan. 30, 1952  Egyptian Crisis and Middle East Defense
Mar. 17, 1948  Palestine Crisis
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