Egypt and the Western powers in Europe and the third world (1953-1968)


Egypt and the Western powers in Europe

While Britain was forging alliances in the Middle East she had also to face the new situation in Egypt. Sooner after the fall of Farouk the old Egyptian political parties, including the nationalist Wafd, which had opposed British influence for over sixty years, were dissolved. They were replaced by the army liberation rally, pro-revolutionary new nationalist movement controlled by the army officers who had staged the revolution and commanding widespread popular support. In 1954 Nasser became prime minister ( and later president) and the British had to deal with a passionate nationalist who was strongly opposed to their presence both in the canal zone and Sudan. In 1953 the Egyptians had agreed that the Sudanese should be allowed to choose their own future, although they continued to campaign for a Union of Egypt and Sudan. In fact, na izany aza, the Sudanese chose complete independence in 1956.

The second problem, Britain’s continued occupation of the canal zone, was an even more difficult one. Nasser reiterated even M prerevolutionary demands for Britain to leave the zone altogether, though he conceded that they might be allowed some right to return in time of war. After some negotiations the British agreed to evacuate the zone in 1954.this was apparently the start to a new and more friendly period in Anglo-Egypt relations, but in the following months a crisis rapidly developed.

The Russians

The Russians, bitterly opposed to the existence of the Baghdad pact ,sought to outflank it by giving economics and military aid to Egypt. In September, 1955, N Nasser announced an arms deal with the Communist bloc. Many people in America and Western Europe believed that, far from being neutral, N user would now come under the domination of the Soviet Union. This in its turn led to the with drawls of western offers of aid to Nasser for the construction of the Aswan high dam,w ith which he hoped to begin the economic transformation of his country.

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