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Anwar Sadat

Anwar Sadat (December 25, 1918 - October 6, 1981) was an Egyptian politician and President of Egypt from 1970 to 1981. He participated in the 1952 coup which dethroned King Farouk I. In 1969, after holding many positions in the Egyptian government, he was chosen to be Vice-President to his friend Gamal Abdal Nasser. When Nasser died the following year, Sadat became President.

Anwar Sadat

In 1973, Sadat, together with Syria, led Egypt into the Yom Kippur War with Israel, trying to reclaim parts of the Sinai Peninsula, which had been conquered by Israel during the 1956 Suez War and the Six-Day War. In spite of the utter defeat in military terms, Sadat managed to restore the Egyptian morale, laying the ground for a peace settlement several years later.

In 1977, Sadat visited Jerusalem at the invitation of Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, which was the start of peace talks between Israel and Egypt. In 1978, this resulted in the Camp David Peace Agreement[?], for which Sadat and Begin received the Nobel Peace Prize. However, the action was extremely unpopular in the Arab world and especially amongst Muslim fundamentalist groups. Many believed that only a threat of force would make Israel negotiate over the Palestinians, and the Camp David accords removed the possibility of Egypt, the major Arab military power, from providing such a threat.

In September of 1981, Sadat cracked down on Muslim organizations, including student groups, and Coptic organizations, making nearly 1600 arrests and earning worldwide condemnation for the extremity of his techniques.

On October 6, 1981, Sadat was assassinated during a parade by army members who were part of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad organization, who opposed his negotiations with Israel as well as his brutal use of force in the September crackdown. He was succeeded by the vice president Hosni Mubarak (also an air force pilot), who, in the aftermath of the assassination, made use of illegal arrests, torture and detention without trial to suppress radical Islamic groups.

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