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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Mar. 02, 1984  American Involvement in Lebanon
Nov. 12, 1982  Reagan's Mideast Peace Initiative
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Jan. 04, 1980  Divided Lebanon
Jul. 20, 1979  West Bank Negotiations
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