Egypt–United Kingdom relations

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Egypt–United Kingdom relations
Map indicating locations of Egypt and United Kingdom

Egypt

United Kingdom

Egypt–United Kingdom relations refers to the bilateral relationship between Egypt and the United Kingdom. Relations are strong and longstanding. They involve politics, defence, trade and education.

History[edit]

British rule[edit]

Churchill visits his old regiment during the Cairo Conference, Egypt, December 1943

The first period of British rule (1882–1914) is often called the "veiled protectorate". During this time the Khedivate of Egypt remained an autonomous province of the Ottoman Empire, and the British occupation had no legal basis but constituted a de facto protectorate over the country. This state of affairs lasted until the Ottoman Empire joined the First World War on the side of the Central Powers in November 1914 and Britain unilaterally declared a protectorate over Egypt. The ruling khedive was deposed and his successor, Hussein Kamel, compelled to declare himself Sultan of Egypt independent of the Ottomans in December 1914.

Egyptian independence from the United Kingdom[edit]

Main article: Kingdom of Egypt
El Alamein Commonwealth Cemetery

In December 1921, the British authorities in Cairo imposed martial law and once again deported Zaghlul. Demonstrations again led to violence. In deference to the growing nationalism and at the suggestion of the High Commissioner, Lord Allenby, the UK unilaterally declared Egyptian independence on 28 February 1922, abolishing the protectorate and establishing an independent Kingdom of Egypt. Until the Anglo-Egyptian treaty of 1936, the Kingdom was only nominally independent, since the British retained control of foreign relations, communications, the military and the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. Between 1936-52, the British continued to maintain military presence and political advisors, at a reduced level.

During World War II, British troops used Egypt as a base for Allied operations throughout the region.

British troops were withdrawn to the Suez Canal area in 1947, but nationalist, anti-British feelings continued to grow after the war. The Egyptian Revolution of 1952 overthrew the Egyptian monarchy, eliminated the British military presence in Egypt, and established the modern Republic of Egypt.

Suez Crisis of 1956[edit]

Main article: Suez Crisis

In 1956, Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalized the Suez canal, a vital waterway through which most of Europe's oil arrived from the Middle East. Britain and France, in league with Israel, invaded to seize the canal and overthrow Nasser. The United States, led by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, strenuously objected, using diplomatic and financial pressure to force the three invaders to withdraw. Prime Minister Anthony Eden was humiliated and soon resigned. Thorpe summarized the unexpected results: Eden's policy had four main aims: first, to secure the Suez Canal; second and consequently, to ensure continuity of oil supplies; third, to remove Nasser; and fourth, to keep the Russians out of the Middle East. The immediate consequence of the crisis was that the Suez Canal was blocked, oil supplies were interrupted, Nasser's position as the leader of Arab nationalism was strengthened, and the way was left open for Russian intrusion into the Middle East. It was a truly tragic end to his premiership, and one that came to assume a disproportionate importance in any assessment of his career."[1]

Modern relations[edit]

British Foreign Secretary William Hague meeting Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy in London, May 2014.

The relations also concern military business. Such as training, visits and access to the Commonwealth War Graves graves in Heliopolis and El Alamein. Also co-ordination over flights and Suez Canal transits for warships.[2]

In 2010, after long negotiations with the University of London, Egypt retrieved 25 000 ancient artifacts, some dating back to the Stone Age. The artifacts include a rare spearhead as well as pottery from the seventh millennium BC, which bears the fingerprints of its producers.[3]

The British government supported the Egyptian Revolution of 2011.[citation needed]

According to the 2001 UK Census some 24,700 Egyptian-born people were present in the U.K.[4] The Office for National Statistics estimates that the equivalent figure for 2009 was 27,000.[5]

In late 2014, the Egyptian-British Chamber of Commerce (EBCC) released a report detailing the trade volume between the two countries, which increased significantly that year. British exports to Egypt grew by 15%, while Egyptian exports to the UK grew by over 30%. The report mentioned the New Suez Canal project and Egypt's economic recovery following three years of turmoil since the 2011 uprising as contributing factors to this achievement.[6]

Diplomatic missions[edit]

Egypt's embassy in the United Kingdom is located at 26 South Audley Street, London W1K 1DW.

The United Kingdom's embassy in Egypt is located at 7 Ahmed Ragheb Street, Garden City, Cairo. Outside Cairo, there is a British Consulate-General in Alexandria and an Honorary Consulate in Sharm el Sheik.

The current Egyptian Ambassador to the UK is Ashraf Elkholy,[7] the British Ambassador to Egypt is John Casson. [8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

General
Specific
  1. ^ D. R. Thorpe, "Eden, (Robert) Anthony, first earl of Avon (1897–1977)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2004)
  2. ^ The defence section - UK Embassy in Egypt website
  3. ^ "Britain sends 25,000 ancient artefacts back to Egypt". Daily Mail. Retrieved 23 November 2014. 
  4. ^ "Country-of-birth database". Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Retrieved 22 December 2008. 
  5. ^ "Estimated population resident in the United Kingdom, by foreign country of birth (Table 1.3)". Office for National Statistics. September 2009. Retrieved 2 August 2010.  Figure given is the central estimate. See the source for 95 per cent confidence intervals.
  6. ^ Farid, Doaa (16 December 2014). "Egypt exports to UK grow by 30% in 2014: Egyptian-British Chamber of Commerce". Daily News Egypt. Retrieved 16 December 2014. 
  7. ^ "Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt in LONDON – UK". Embassy Website. Retrieved 23 November 2014. 
  8. ^ Change of Her Majesty's Ambassador to Egypt, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, 23 June 2014

Further reading[edit]

  • Darwin, John. Britain, Egypt and the Middle East: Imperial policy in the aftermath of war, 1918-1922 (1981)
  • Hahn, Peter L. The United States, Great Britain, and Egypt, 1945-1956: Strategy and Diplomacy in the Early Cold War (1991) online
  • Harrison, Robert T. Gladstone's Imperialism in Egypt: Techniques of Domination (1995)
  • Louis, William Roger. The British Empire in the Middle East, 1945-1951: Arab Nationalism, the United States, and Postwar Imperialism (1984)
  • Marlowe, John. A History of Modern Egypt and Anglo-Egyptian Relations, 1800-1953 (1954) online
  • Oren, Michael B. The Origins of the Second Arab-Israel War: Egypt, Israel and the Great Powers, 1952-56 (Routledge, 2013)
  • Royal Institute of International Affairs. Great Britain and Egypt, 1914-1951 (2nd ed. 1952) online
  • Tignore, Robert L. Egypt: A Short History (2011) online

External links[edit]

British links
Egyptian links