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Anglo-Egyptian Treaty of 1936


Military agreement between Britain and Egypt in 1936, that was intended to last for 20 years, but which was effectively undermined from 1951, until it came to an end in 1954.
The background for forging this agreement was the outbreak of the Italian-Ethiopian War in 1935. With this treaty the British got exclusive rights to equip and train the Egyptian military, hence they were able to protect British economic intrests in both in Egypt and with the Suez Canal.
The British were permitted to build as many air bases as they wished. But in one regard, less British Control was involved than in others: Egyptian troops were to protect the Suez Canal. The British didn't move out right away, however, because the Egyptian troops had to be trained first. British troops retained the right to move into the Canal zone in times of war.
This treaty was welcomed neither by nationalists nor by Muslim leaders, such as the Muslim Brotherhood. It wasn't until the time of the establishment of the Jewish state of Israel 13 years later, however, that the opposition surfaced. At first the Wafd government requested that the British withdraw from Egypt. When that request was not met, Egypt unilaterally abrogated the treaty in 1951.
The British were met by total non-cooperation from Egypt and occasional guerilla attacks, but the British troops were not the first to leave. The position of King Faruk had become too weak to withstand the coup by military revolutionaries in 1952.
The new republican government entered into new talks with the British government. In October 1954, they jointly signed an agreement that all British troops should leave by the end of December of the same year.




By Tore Kjeilen