The major detente between Egypt and Syria -- announced in Cairo on Tuesday night (December 21) -- is their second in less than twenty years.
SCU Egyptian Foreign Minister Ismail Fahmi speaking
EGYPTIAN FOREIGN MINISTER ISMAIL FAHMI: "According to the next of that declaration you will see that it was agreed to establish a unified, high political leadership by decree issued by the two presidents. This political leadership will lay the foundation of the details of the union between Egypt and Syria, and the political leadership, in addition to that, will establish joint committees in the various fields to study the problems from its various angles and then report to the two presidents. The committees will be divided to tackle constitutional problems, defence and national security, foreign policy and information, financial and economic questions, education and cultural problems, legislation and administrative and finance."
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Background: The major detente between Egypt and Syria -- announced in Cairo on Tuesday night (December 21) -- is their second in less than twenty years. The two nations, traditional rivals for leadership of the Arab world, merged into the United Arab Republic in 1958. The union collapsed within three years. The latest agreement follows three days of talks in Cairo between President Anwar Sadat of Egypt and President Hafez al-Assad of Syria. But the announcement of the statement by Egyptian Foreign Minister Ismail Fahmi, left open what exact form the union should take -- and gave no timetable for its establishment.