United Arab Republic

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The United Arab Republic was a political union (1958-61) of Egypt and Syria. The capital was Cairo. The two countries were merged (1958) into a single unit comprising the Southern (Egypt) and the Northern (Syria) Regions, with Gamal Abdel Nasser as president. As an initial step toward creating a pan-Arab union, the republic abolished Syrian and Egyptian citizenship, termed its inhabitants Arabs, and called the country “Arab territory.” It considered the Arab homeland to be the entire area between the Persian Gulf and the Atlantic coast. In 1961, Syria withdrew from the union after a military coup, thus ending the union. It was a serious blow to Nasser's authority, and all-but-insured the return of exiled Said III as Khedive of Egypt. The negotiations that followed were a (successful) attempt to avoid civil war and to keep the Suez Canal open.

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