1. A republic in northeastern Africa; site of an ancient civilization that flourished from 2600 to 30 BC; Also called: Arab Republic of Egypt, United Arab Republic.
2. Town in Arkansas (USA).
Country in NE Africa, bounded N by the Mediterranean Sea, E by the Suez Canal and Red Sea, S by Sudan, and W by Libya.
The 1971 constitution provides for a single-chamber people's assembly of 454, ten nominated by the president and 444 elected for a five-year term by 222 constituencies. The president is nominated by the assembly and then elected by popular referendum for a six-year renewable term. At least one vice president and a council of ministers are appointed by the president. There is also a 210-member consultative council (Shura), with advisory powers.
For early history see Egypt, ancient. After its conquest by Augustus 30 BC, Egypt passed under the rule of Roman, and later Byzantine, governors, and Christianity superseded the ancient religion. The Arabs conquered Egypt AD 639–42, introducing Islam and Arabic to the area, and the country was ruled by successive Arab dynasties until 1250, when the Mamelukes seized power. Mameluke rule lasted until 1517, when Egypt became part of the Turkish Ottoman Empire.
Contact with Europe began with Napoleon's invasion and the French occupation 1798–1801. A period of anarchy followed, until in 1805 an Albanian officer, Mehmet Ali, was appointed pasha, a title that later became hereditary in his family. Under his successors Egypt met with economic difficulties over the building of the Suez Canal (1859–69), to the extent that an Anglo-French commission was placed in charge of its finances. After subduing a nationalist revolt 1881–82, Britain occupied Egypt, and the government was from then on mainly in the hands of British civilian agents who directed their efforts to the improvement of the Egyptian economy. On the outbreak of World War I in 1914, nominal Turkish suzerainty was abolished, and the country was declared a British protectorate.
Postwar agitation by the nationalist Wafd party led to the granting of nominal independence 1922, under King Fuad I. He was succeeded by King Farouk 1936, and Britain agreed to recognize Egypt's full independence, announcing a phased withdrawal of its forces, except from the Suez Canal, Alexandria, and Port Said, where it had naval bases. The start of World War II delayed the British departure, as did the consequent campaign in Libya that ended in the defeat of the German and Italian forces that had threatened the Canal Zone.
In 1946 all British troops except the Suez Canal garrison were withdrawn. In the immediate postwar years a radical movement developed, calling for an end to the British presence and opposing Farouk for his extravagant lifestyle and his failure to prevent the creation of Israel. This led, in 1952, to a bloodless coup by a group of army officers, led by Col Gamal Nasser, who replaced Farouk with a military junta. The 1923 constitution was suspended and all political parties banned. The following year Egypt declared itself a republic, with General Mohammed Neguib as president and prime minister. In 1954 Nasser became prime minister, and an agreement was signed for the withdrawal of British troops from the Canal Zone by 1956.
After a dispute with Neguib, Nasser took over as head of state and embarked on a program of social reform. He became a major force for the creation of Arab unity and a leader of the nonaligned movement. In 1956 the presidency was strengthened by a new constitution, and Nasser was elected president, unopposed. Later that year, British forces were withdrawn, in accordance with the 1954 agreement.
When the US and Britain canceled their offers of financial aid for the Aswan High Dam 1956, Nasser responded by nationalizing the Suez Canal. In a contrived operation, Britain, France, and Israel invaded the Sinai Peninsula 31 Oct 1956, and two days later Egypt was attacked. US pressure brought a cease-fire and an Anglo-French withdrawal 1957. The effect of the abortive Anglo-French operation was to push Egypt toward the USSR and to enhance Nasser's reputation in the Arab world.
In 1958 Egypt and Syria merged to become the United Arab Republic (UAR), with Nasser as president, but three years later Syria withdrew, though Egypt retained the title of UAR until 1971. The 1960s saw several unsuccessful attempts to federate Egypt, Syria, and Iraq. Despite these failures Nasser's prestige among his neighbors grew, while at home, in 1962, he founded the Arab Socialist Union (ASU) as Egypt's only recognized political organization.
In 1967 Egypt led an attack on Israel that developed into the Six-Day War, in which Israel defeated all its opponents, including Egypt. One result of the conflict was the blocking of the Suez Canal, which was not reopened until 1975.
After Egypt's defeat, Nasser offered to resign but was persuaded to stay on. In 1970, aged 52, he died and was succeeded by Vice President Col Anwar Sadat.
In 1971 a new constitution was approved, and the title Arab Republic of Egypt adopted. Sadat continued Nasser's policy of promoting Arab unity, but proposals to create a federation of Egypt, Libya, and Syria again failed.
Yom Kippur War.
In 1973 an attempt was made to regain territory from Israel. After 18 days' fighting, US secretary of state Henry Kissinger arranged a cease-fire, resulting in Israel's evacuation of parts of Sinai, with a UN buffer zone separating the rival armies. This US intervention strengthened ties between the two countries while relations with the USSR cooled.
Camp David agreements.
In 1977 Sadat went to Israel to address the Israeli parliament and plead for peace. Other Arab states were dismayed by this move, and diplomatic relations with Syria, Libya, Algeria, and the Yemen, as well as the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), were severed and Egypt was expelled from the Arab League 1979. Despite this opposition, Sadat pursued his peace initiative, and at the Camp David talks in the US, he and the Israeli prime minister, Menachem Begin, signed two agreements.
The first laid a framework for peace in the Middle East, and the second, a framework for a treaty between the two countries. In 1979 a treaty was signed and Israel began a phased withdrawal from Sinai. As a consequence, Egypt's isolation from the Arab world grew, and the economy suffered from the withdrawal of Saudi subsidies. US aid became vital to Egypt's survival, and links between the two governments grew steadily closer.
position in Arab world.
In 1981 Sadat was assassinated by a group of Muslim fundamentalists who opposed him and was succeeded by Lt Gen Hosni Mubarak, who had been vice president since 1975. Just as Sadat had continued the policies of his predecessor, so did Mubarak. In the 1984 elections the National Democratic Party (NDP), formed by Sadat 1948, won an overwhelming victory in the assembly, strengthening Mubarak's position. Although Egypt's treaty with Israel remained intact, relations between the two countries became strained, mainly because of Israel's pre-emptive activities in Lebanon and the disputed territories. Egypt's relations with other Arab nations improved, and only Libya maintained its trade boycott; the restoration of diplomatic relations with Syria 1989 paved the way for Egypt's resumption of its leadership of the Arab world.
Mubarak as peace broker.
Mubarak played a growing role in the search for Middle East peace, acting as an intermediary between the Israelis and Palestinians, and the choice of the deputy prime minister, Dr Boutros-Boutros-Ghali, as UN secretary-general was regarded as evidence of international respect for Egypt's diplomatic successes. At home, problems with Islamic fundamentalists increased but in Oct 1987 Mubarak was reelected by referendum for a second term. Egypt was a member of the United Nations coalition forces that sought an economic embargo against Iraq 1990 for annexing Kuwait, and its armed forces joined in the military action against Iraq 1991.
From May 1992 outbreaks of violence between Muslim and Christian militants became more common, and in 1993 an Islamic militant campaign to unseat the government began in deadly earnest, with politicians and other persons prominent in public life being targetted and foreigners warned to leave the country. A government crackdown began 1993 and, amid continuing violence, Mubarak was reelected for a third term of office in July. Many fundamentalists held important positions in professional and charitable organizations and the government came under fire for arresting lawyers and attempting to censor clerics who supported the militants.
Egipt, oko 3400 godine pre naše ere nastala je država Egipat. Na njenom čelu nalazio se prvi faraon poznat u istoriji, Narmerza.
Država u Africi, Egipat.
Turski naziv za Egipat. (hebr.)