Anwar Sadat

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Muhammad Anwar Al Sadat was the third President of Egypt, serving from 15 October 1970 until his assassination by fundamentalist army officers on 6 October 1981. He was a senior member of the Free Officers group that overthrew the Muhammad Ali Dynasty in the Egyptian Revolution of 1952, and a close confidant of President Gamal Abdel Nasser, whom he succeeded as President in 1970. In his eleven years as president he changed Egypt's direction, departing from some of the economic and political principles of Nasserism by re-instituting the multi-party system and launching the Infitah. He led the Yom Kippur War of 1973 against Israel, making him a hero in Egypt and, for a time, throughout the Arab World. Afterwards he engaged in negotiations with Israel, culminating in the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty. On 19 November 1977, Sadat became the first Arab leader to visit Israel officially when he met with Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, and spoke before the Knesset in Jerusalem about his views on how to achieve a comprehensive peace to the Arab-Israeli conflict, which included the full implementation of UN Resolutions 242 and 338. He said during his visit that he hopes "that we can keep the momentum in Geneva, and may God guide the steps of Premier Begin and Knesset, because there is a great need for hard and drastic decision." This won him the Nobel Peace Prize but also made him unpopular among some Arabs, resulting in a temporary suspension of Egypt's membership in the Arab League, and eventually his assassination. On 6 October 1981 Sadat was assassinated during the annual victory parade held in Cairo to celebrate Egypt's crossing of the Suez Canal. In addition to Sadat, eleven others were killed, including the Cuban ambassador, an Omani general, and a Coptic Orthodox bishop. Twenty-eight were wounded, including Vice President Hosni Mubarak, Irish Defence Minister James Tully, and four US military liaison officers. Sadat was succeeded by his vice president Hosni Mubarak, whose hand was injured during the attack. Sadat's funeral was attended by a record number of dignitaries from around the world, including a rare simultaneous attendance by three former US presidents: Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and Richard Nixon. Sudan's President Gaafar Nimeiry was the only Arab head of state to attend the funeral. Only 3 of 24 states in the Arab League Oman, Somalia and Sudan sent representatives at all. The assassination squad was led by Lieutenant Khalid Islambouli after a fatwa approving the assassination had been obtained from Omar Abdel-Rahman. Islambouli was tried, found guilty, sentenced to death, and executed in April 1982. Sadat was buried in the unknown soldier memorial in Cairo, across the street from the stand where he was assassinated. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]







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