Anwar Sadat

Anwar Sadat

Anwar Sadat was born in Egypt in 1918. He joined the Egyptian Army but in 1942 was arrested by the British authorities and charged with having contact with the German Army.

Sadat held republican views and joined the Free Officers Movement. In 1952 Sadat joined General Mohammed Neguib and Colonel Gamal Abdel Nasser in the overthrow of King Farouk I.

In 1955 Sadat became editor of Al-Jumhuriya and later served as vice president of Egypt (1964-70). After the death of Gamal Abdel Nasser in 1970 Sadat became President of the United Arab Republic. He also served as Military Governor General during the October War.

Defence spending severely damaged the Egyptian economy and in 1977 Sadat decided to obtain a peace settlement with Israel. He announced the Sadat Initiative and offered to go to Jerusalem and plead the Arab cause before the Knesset. This offer was accepted and Sadat visited Israel to meet Menachem Begin (19th - 21st November).

Although criticised by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the governments of Syria, Libya and Algeria, Sadat had discussions with Begin at Leeds Castle and Camp David. In September 1978, with the support of Jimmy Carter, the president of the United States, Sadat and Begin signed a peace treaty between the two countries. As a result both men shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 1978.

On 6th October 1981 Anwar Sadat was assassinated by a Muslim extremist.