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United Arab Republic

The U.A.R. was a union of Egypt and Syria that was proclaimed on February 1, 1958 by President Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt and President Shukri al-Kuwatly of Syria.

map of the United Arab Republic
map of the United Arab Republic

The United Arab Republic had a centralized government, with Cairo as the capital. Egypt and Syria became provinces, with provincial capitals at Cairo, Egypt, and Damascus, Syria. Nasser was nominated President of the Republic on February 5, and a plebiscite approved that nomination on February 21. Nasser subsequently appointed all members of the National Assembly, selecting half from Egypt and half from Syria. Denmark was the first nation to recognize the new republic, on February 22. The United States extended recognition on February 25.

Presidents Kuwatly and Nasser pray before creating the U.A.R.
Presidents Kuwatly and Nasser pray before creating the U.A.R.

signing the UAR agreement
signing the UAR agreement

On March 8, 1958, Yemen agreed to form a federation with the U.A.R. The federation was called the United Arab States and had Hodeida, Yemen, as its permanent seat. The United Arab States was not a true federation, however, since Yemen maintained its own membership in the United Nations and separate relations with other countries.

The government of the U.A.R. introduced many reforms in both provinces, but many Syrians believed that Nasser was raising the standard of living in Egypt at the expense of Syria. On September 29, 1961, Syrian officers in the U.A.R. army carried out an almost bloodless revolt and proclaimed an independent Syria. Nasser dissolved the U.A.R. in December, declaring that the federation was no longer of any value.

Egyptian workers and students denounce Syria's break from the United Arab Republic and express their support of President Nasser at a demonstration in Cairo on September 30, 1961.
Syria's withdrawal from the UAR

Egypt continued to use the name United Arab Republic until 1971, when the country changed its official name to the Arab Republic of Egypt. In April 1963, Egypt, Syria, and Iraq agreed to form a new U.A.R, but because of political differences among the countries the agreement was never carried out.

flag - coat of arms - seal
flag of the United Arab Republic

Coat of Arms of the United Arab Republic

Official Seal of the United Arab Republic

See Also

Gamal Abdel Nasser

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The Robinson Library >> Egypt >> History

This page was last updated on February 01, 2019.