Egyptian Foreign Policy

Courtesy Reuters

Fourteen people were told beforehand of Nasser's decision to nationalize the Suez Canal in July 1956; only two knew in advance of the decision to expel the Soviet experts from Egypt in July 1972, and then only a few hours before the Soviet Ambassador was informed. Egyptian President Anwar Sadat himself admits that he told no one but his Foreign Minister of his dramatic decision to go to Jerusalem last November.

These were all momentous decisions - some affecting the issues of war and peace, others, like the Jerusalem visit, representing a radical departure from the political line consistently followed by Egypt ever since it began to play an active role in the Arab-Israeli conflict in 1948. While the above examples graphically illustrate how major policy decisions are made in Egypt, they could just as easily apply to most Third World countries, which, unlike developed societies, have not yet attained the stage where

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