Egypt and Syria Join to Form United Arab Republic (Great Events: 1900-2001)
Article abstract: Egypt and Syria undertook a complete merger of their two countries, resulting in the creation of a new state, the United Arab Republic (UAR). However, Egypt dominated the new political arrangement, so Syria seceded, and the UAR collapsed.
Before the Merger
In the years before the merger, Syria was suffering from frequent government changes and successive military coups. In 1955-1957, the leaders of one of the main Syrian political parties, the Ba’ath (Arab Socialist Resurrection Party), feared that the Communist Party was rapidly overtaking them in their efforts to control decision making. In an attempt to prevent further encroachment, they chose a radical course of action. They proposed a merger between Egypt and Syria to Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser.
This offer was unusual. Nations rarely favor giving up their sovereignty to merge with a more powerful state. However, Nasser had forestalled Communist activity in Egypt and was a charismatic leader who was enjoying enormous prestige in the Middle East. He was decisive and ambitious and seemed destined to give greater luster to the Arab world. He advocated liberation from colonialism, socialism, and unity of Arab peoples throughout the region, all of which had long been adopted by...
(The entire section is 919 words.)
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