Anwar Sadat

President of Egypt from 1970 to 1981
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Anwar Sadat (December 25, 1918 – October 6, 1981) was an Egyptian politician who was President of Egypt from 1970 until his death in 1981. He led Egypt in the Yom Kippur War of 1973, and then negotiated the Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty, for which he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1978.

Anwar Sadat in 1980

Quotes edit

  • Any life lost in war is the life of a human being, irrespective of whether it is an Arab or an Israeli. The wife who becomes widowed is a human being, entitled to live in a happy family, Arab or Israeli. Innocent children, deprived of paternal care and sympathy, are all our children, whether they live on Arab or Israeli soil.
  • Today I tell you, and I declare it to the whole world, that we accept to live with you in permanent peace based on justice. We do not want to encircle you or be encircled ourselves by destructive missiles ready for launching, nor by the shells of grudges and hatreds.
  • Conceive with me a peace agreement… based on the following points: First: ending the Israeli occupation of the Arab territories occupied in 1967. Second: achievement of the fundamental rights of the Palestinian people and their right to self-determination, including their right to establish their own state. Third: the right of all states in the area to live in peace within their boundaries, which will be secure and guaranteed through procedures to be agreed upon... Fourth: commitment of all states in the region to administer the relations among them in accordance with the objectives and principles of the United Nations Charter... Fifth: ending the state of belligerency in the region.
  • I am convinced that we owe it to this generation and the generations to come, not to leave a stone unturned in our pursuit of peace.
  • The goal is to bring security to the peoples of the area, and the Palestinians in particular, restoring to them all their right to a life of liberty and dignity… This is what I stand for.
  • I do not deny the State of Israel’s right to be recognized by all countries of the region, provided that the whole situation is normalized. A peace agreement should provide for the establishment of a Palestinian State in the West Bank of the Jordan and the Gaza Strip, and Israel should withdraw from the territories it occupied in 1967.
    • Sadat, Anwar (1978). In Search of Identity: An Autobiography. Sydney: Collins. p. 297. 

Quotes about edit

  • As a result of considerable effort, the Carter administration helped to arrange a peace settlement between Egypt and Israel, with the Camp David Accords of 17 September 1978 followed by the Egypt-Israel treaty of 26 March 1979. The Camp David Accords focused on ‘peace for land’, Israel withdrawing from its Sinai (although not Gaza) gains of 1967, and Egypt, in return, signing a formal peace treaty with Israel, and thereby giving recognition. Nasser’s successor, Anwar Sadat, the Egyptian President, who had expelled Soviet advisers in 1972, wanted to include the Palestinians in the treaty, but Menachem Begin, the Israeli Prime Minister, was willing only to agree to an informal link to a temporary halt on new Israeli settlements on the West Bank. The peace process was condemned by the Soviet Union and the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organisation). Nevertheless, the peace agreement helped lessen tensions in the Middle East (not least by isolating Syria and the PLO), which was important as, from 1979, the Cold War was to become far more difficult in South Asia.
  • After Nasser had died of a heart attack in 1970, Sadat, his vice president, stepped in as acting president. He was supposed to hold the position for only sixty days but lasted longer than anyone expected. As he solidified his power, his every move seemed driven by the obsession to step out of Nasser’s gigantic shadow. Sadat was the focus of many jokes at the beginning of his time in power. "Sadat’s presidential limousine stops at a traffic light. Sadat asks the driver: And here, which way did Nasser turn? The driver answers: To the left, Mr. President. Sadat instructs his driver to signal left and then turn right." Others described Sadat as walking in Nasser’s footsteps, but with an eraser. Nasser had rid the country of the monarchy and the colonial powers. He nationalized the economy. Sadat would usher in what he called infitah, economic openness. He loosened the rules, liberalized the economy, and encouraged private and foreign investment. Where Nasser exhorted his countrymen to join together to build up the country, Sadat encouraged the migration of Egyptians to neighboring countries, especially the oil-rich Gulf, to send home remittances. Nasser was a reluctant warrior. Sadat took the Israelis by surprise and launched a war to snatch the Sinai back in October 1973. He didn’t win, but the initial success of the attack restored some national pride.
    • Kim Ghattas, Black Wave: Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the Forty-Year Rivalry That Unraveled Culture, Religion, and Collective Memory in the Middle East (2020)
  • Two of the leaders discussed in these pages experienced the Second World War as colonial subjects. Anwar Sadat (born 1918), as an Egyptian army officer, was imprisoned for two years for attempting in 1942 to collaborate with German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel in expelling the British from Egypt and then for three years, much of it in solitary confinement, after the assassination of the pro-British former Finance Minister Amin Osman. Long animated by revolutionary and pan-Arab convictions, Sadat was projected, in 1970, by the sudden death of Gamal Abdel Nasser into the presidency of an Egypt that had been shocked and demoralized by defeat in the 1967 war with Israel. Through an astute combination of military strategy and diplomacy, he then endeavored to restore Egypt’s lost territories and self-confidence while securing long-elusive peace with Israel with a transcendent philosophy.
    • Henry Kissinger, Leadership: Six Studies in World Strategy (2022), pp. 20-21

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