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The Republic
Gamal Abdel Nasser
ruled (1954 - 1970)
Gamal Abdel Nasser


Gamal Abdel Nasser was the mastermind of the covert formation of the Free Officers that acted against the monarchy and sought to take over the rule.

In 1950, he was appointed head of the Free Officers Executive and on 23 July 1952, the Free Officers set about a coup d'état, later regarded as a "revolution." They declared Mohamed Naguib as the commander-in-chief.
After that, the group announced their Six Principles purporting the end of occupation, ending feudalism and monopoly, achieving social justice, formation of a strong army, achieving democracy and abolishing censorship. Broader plans were also dedicated to the agrarian reforms. Mohamed Naguib was made a prime minister and the 1923-constitution was suspended.

In early 1953 the political parties were disbanded and the Free Officers Executive was renamed as Revolutionary Command Council (RCC). Mohamed Naguib declared his supreme power in the country. Later in that year, the monarchy was abolished, Naguib was made president of the new republic and Nasser formed the government.

Power struggle arose between Nasser and Naguib. They were both exchanging posts of premiership and RCC chairmanship.
Nasser, however, drummed up enough supports from trade unions and the Liberation Rally, a government political group formed in March 1953.
Moslem Brotherhood, an Islamic reformist movement founded in 1928, was allowed to resume its non-political activities.

Pic
Mohamed Naguib, L, was deposed by his comrade Gamal Abdel Nasser, R

In October 1953, Nasser held negotiations with the British side and reached the Anglo-Egyptian Evacuation Treaty. The Moslem Brotherhood opposed the agreement because it gave British forces a period of 20 months to implement total evacuation, a period they saw as long time. As a result, a member of the group attempted to assassinate Nasser.
To Nasser that was the last straw. He took the attempt as a pretext to place Mohamed Naguib under a house arrest, ripping him from presidency and suppressing the Moslem Brotherhood.

In 1955, Nasser secured an arms-deal from the Soviet Union and the next year a referendum was held based on the new constitution and Nasser was officially elected as president. The RCC was disbanded and both martial laws and censorship were abolished.

Earlier in February, the UN's International Bank for Reconstruction and Development approved the financing of the High Dam project at Aswan. However, later USA and Britain withdrew their offer to financially support the project.
Nasser responded by nationalizing Suez Canal in July 1956 to exploit its revenues in financing the building of the Dam, a move that provoked Britain.
Tension increased in the region and Israel attacked the canal in October. Raged by the nationalization of the canal, Britain followed the attack in November. France took part in the attack as it was irritated by Egypt's support for the Algerian revolution.
The tripartite attack caused a crisis inside the Security Council and under pressures practiced from the USSR and the USA, the aggressors withdrew to make Abdel Nasser celebtrated as a victor and a symbol of resistance in front of imperialism.
After the war, the government soon started a crackdown on oppositionists and communists.

In February 1958, a union was formed between Egypt and Syria under the name of United Arab Republic (UAR) with Nasser its president. In 1961, Syria broke away from the union after Syrian disapproval for Egyptian policies. Despite that, Egypt kept the UAR title until 1971.
In 1962 Egypt sent troops to support Yemen's revolutionists against royalists.

Nasser's pan-Arab policies were shaken from time to time and Egypt's relations with other Arab countries were fluctuating.
The Arab Socialist Union was founded in July 1962 to consolidate the party activities of the government. The Union installed itself as the only political party until the introduction of the multiparty system in Sadat's rule.
In 1964, a new provisional constitution was introduced and in 1965, President Nasser was reelected president.
The next year, Nasser signed a joint defense pact with Syria. Israel soon attacked Jordan.

Early in 1967, Israel attacked Jordan and Syria. Consequently, tension grew between Egypt and Israel. Nasser asked the UN troops in Sinai to leave and pushed his troops in, then he closed the strategic strait of Tiran, blocking the Red Sea waterway before Israel.
As a result, the six-day way broke out on 5 June 1967. Israel carried an all-out attack on Arab states. Israel succeeded to occupy Sinai from Egypt, Golan Heights from Syria and the West Bank from Jordan.

The war was a tragic defeat for Egyptians. The air force fleet was even destroyed on ground and suffered a big loss. Egyptian troops haphazardly withdrew from Sinai and tens of thousands of soldiers were killed on their way back to the mainland. USA and USSR interfered and a cease-fire was reached between Egypt and Israel.
After the crushing defeat, Nasser offered his resignation but popular protests erupted and the masses requested him to rethink his decision; so under the popular pressure Nasser resumed his post.

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General Amer, L, late Chief of Staffs the direct responsible of 1967 defeat with Nasser, R
General Abdel Hakim Amer, chief of staff and the direct responsible for the defeat was dismissed and reportedly committed suicide few weeks later.
Despite Nasser's resumption for the presidency post, the war left him broken and incapable of making effective changes domestically and externally. Nasser had to deal with problems emerged in the war, particularly the economy slump and the increase of hostility with Israel. Continuous confrontation with Israel brought about Egypt's dependence on the Soviet Union for getting weapons.

In March 1969, the war of attrition erupted between Egypt and Israel until it stopped in August 1970 after efforts from USA led to a cease-fire.
Nasser died of a heart attack on 28 September and was succeeded by his vice-president Anwar El-Sadat.
 

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