Anwar Sadat - President of Egypt (1970-1981): biography, domestic policy, death, interesting facts

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For many generations of Soviet people, it became a symbol of betrayal, Arab socialists opposed it, and Islamic radicals killed. Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, faced with political reality, managed to step over his extreme anti-Semitism and concluded a peace treaty with Israel. He deservedly won the Nobel Peace Prize together with the Israeli Prime Minister.

early years

The future president of Egypt, Anwar Sadat, was born on December 25, 1918 in the small village of Mit-Abul-Kum (Minufia province), located in the Nile Delta north of Cairo. He was one of thirteen children in a large family with Sudanese roots. Because of his African descent, he was naturally very dark by nature, so when in 1983 the Americans decided to make the feature film Sadat, it was played by black actor Louis Gossett.

His father Muhammad al-Sadat served as a clerk at a local military hospital, his mother Sitt al-Barrein was in charge of housekeeping and raising children. All relatives were very religious and zealous Muslims.

In early childhood, he attended elementary religious school, which focused on the study of the Koran. In 1925, the family moved to the vicinity of the capital of the country, where the young Anwar received a secondary education.

Shaping views

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In the biography of Anvar Sadat, it is noted that in his early years, four historical figures had a strong influence on the formation of his worldview:

  • hanged by the occupation authorities for the murder of British officer Zahran, a member of the anti-colonial uprising;
  • Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi, who advocated non-violent resistance to social violence;
  • Turkish President Kemal Ataturk, who led the fight for the country's independence and initiated large-scale secular reforms;
  • the German Fuhrer, Hitler, the only, in his opinion, world leader who could resist British aggression.

At a young age, he formed pro-Nazi and anti-Semitic views, which superimposed on a deep religiosity and extreme nationalism.

The beginning of the way

In 1922, Great Britain unilaterally granted Egypt formal independence. However, the influence of the British on all aspects of life remained dominant, British troops continued to be in the country. Anwar Sadat, like many other Egyptian patriots, was very negative about this dependence on the metropolis and dreamed of a complete liberation of the country.

In 1936, he entered the newly opened British military school, after which he served as a lieutenant and served at a military base on the outskirts of the country. In 1938 he met Gamal Nasser, the future president of Egypt. They were bound by close friendship, common political views and the desire to make the country independent. Friends and a group of patriotic officers organized a secret revolutionary society, which later played a key role in the overthrow of the puppet monarchy.

German intelligence agent

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An interesting fact - Anwar Sadat during the Second World War, for ideological reasons, secretly assisted the secret services of Nazi Germany and fascist Italy. He hoped that this would bring the liberation of Egypt from British rule closer. For this, he was repeatedly arrested by the colonial authorities on charges of collaborating with the German intelligence service Abwehr. On the instructions of the German agents, he tried to smuggle a retired general of the Egyptian army into neighboring Iraq, where he was supposed to increase anti-British activity. The secret operation failed, and Sadat was again arrested.

After being released due to lack of evidence, he resumes cooperation with Nazi intelligence. However, Sadat did not stay long free; two German agents with whom he had been in contact were arrested and extradited his volunteer assistant. In October 1942, he was convicted by a military tribunal, dismissed from the army and imprisoned.

Only forward

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After two years of imprisonment, Anwar Sadat began a hunger strike and, due to the deterioration of his health, was hospitalized in a prison hospital. He managed to escape, was hiding for about a year, often changing his appearance, place of work and residence. He was nevertheless arrested again, and from 1946 to 1949 he was imprisoned. Freed, he began to practice journalism, and in 1950 he was again called up for military service.

In July 1952, the Free Officers organization, of which Lieutenant Colonel Anwar Sadat was an active participant, carried out a coup d'état, overthrowing King Farouk and expelling him from the country. It was Sadat who read the first appeal to the people about the overthrow of the "corrupt" government. Soon he was appointed one of the ministers of the revolutionary government.

After the nationalization of the Suez Canal and the subsequent crisis of 1956, during which Egypt, thanks to the assistance of the Soviet Union and the United States, managed to preserve the channel, Sadat became one of the most influential figures in the state. Since 1958, he held various positions in the United Arab Republic (union state of Syria and Egypt from 1958-1971), since 1969, he is the only vice-president of the country.

The country was in severe crisis after a brutal defeat in the Six Day War (1967), when 3, 000 Egyptians died, and Israel seized the Sinai Peninsula and went to the outskirts of the Suez Canal. Thousands of Palestinian refugees poured into the country, resulting in a significantly increased number of terrorist threats.

On top of power

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After the sudden death of Nasser’s heart attack, Sadat came to power in the country. He was not a supporter of pan-Arab and socialist ideas and gradually began to curtail the reforms of his predecessor. After the suppression of the opposition’s statement of the convinced nasarists, which he called the May Revolutionary Revolution, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat fully concentrated power in his hands.

In foreign policy, at first he sought to balance, seeking to extract the maximum benefit from relations with the Soviet Union and the United States. Relations with the Americans were officially severed in 1967, but since 1970 have been resumed under the former president, realizing that the United States is the most important factor in the Middle East. Sadat intended to continue to receive military equipment from the USSR to confront Israel, and the United States to use for political pressure in order to return the lost territories.

It is interesting that not only weapons were supplied to the USSR by Egypt, Sadat repeatedly asked the Soviet ambassador to send vodka (in boxes). According to intelligence information, he used hashish, his wife Cihan Sadat had a strong influence on him, without whose advice important decisions were not made.

New Deal

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The contacts of the Egyptian and American authorities became regular, especially after Anwar Sadat proved that he was able not only to stay in power, but also for serious changes in domestic and foreign policy.

He did not renew the Soviet-Egyptian Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation, which ended in 1971. The following year, 15, 000 Soviet military advisers and specialists were expelled from the country. According to the researchers, this was most likely due to the easing of tensions in Soviet-American relations, when the Soviet Union was not ready to support a sharp escalation of the conflict in the Middle East. The American side, of course, was pleased to accept such actions by Sadat, but did not show much interest in the region.

Nobel laureate

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According to many politicians, the Doomsday War was almost inevitable, Sadat needed to show that Egypt remains a key player in the region, which Israel and the United States must reckon with. It was necessary to use the army, which spent huge funds, the military budget was 21% of GDP. People needed to distract from social problems. The country's authorities also hoped to attract funds from the rich countries of the Persian Gulf and increase credibility in the Arab world.

The Doomsday War began on October 6, 1973, lasted 18 days and ended with another defeat of the Arab countries against Israel. President Sadat has become increasingly inclined to think about the need to conclude a peace treaty. In November 1977, he appeared in the Knesset in Jerusalem, as they wrote, with an "unprecedented peace initiative." The Israeli press shyly kept silent that the pattern on his tie consisted of swastikas. In 1978, with the mediation of President Carter at Camp David, Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat signed a peace treaty. Israel returned part of the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt in exchange for a peace treaty. In 1978, together with Begin, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Open door policy

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In 1974, Sadat embarked on extensive internal reforms. To attract foreign investment, the taxation system was changed, the inviolability of private property was guaranteed. The government committed to reconstructing the country's communications and transportation system. Measures were taken to reduce the budget deficit, and the banking and foreign exchange sphere was liberalized. All these measures have led to an acceleration of economic growth, an improvement in the balance of payments and an increase in foreign investment. The domestic policy of Anwar Sadat increasingly strengthened the dependence of the economy on the West.

However, a reduction in subsidies of almost doubled for food and fuel led to higher prices. Across the country, protests have swept, called the "bread riots." And this decision the government had to cancel. The opposition protested against economic reforms, Islamic radicals were unhappy with the Americanization of public life, which more than once led to riots. Large-scale purges began, many supporters of the course of Nasser, Muslim and Christian clergy were arrested.

The death of Anwar Sadat

In a situation where virtually all strata of the population were dissatisfied with the supreme power, Egyptian intelligence officers organized a plot to eliminate Sadat. On October 6, 1981, during a parade on the anniversary of the Doomsday War, the Egyptian President was assassinated by a group of military fanatics. In the direction of the government stands threw a grenade and fired from machine guns. Severely wounded Sadat was taken to hospital, where he died. His last words were: "It can not be … It can not be …".

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