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IR Working Paper 1989/3
Ralph King, ‘The Politics of Reassurance: Egypt and the Arab World, 1977-1987’, IR Working Paper 1989/3, Canberra: Department of International Relations, Research School of Pacific Studies, Australian National University, August 1989.
This paper deals with Egyptian-Arab relations in the decade 1977-87. It covers Sadat’s visit to Jerusalem, Egypt’s expulsion from the Arab League following its peace treaty with Israel in March 1979, and the developments which culminated in the League’s decision to readmit Egypt in November 1987. The paper argues that Egypt’s reintegration into Arab ranks was the result of a two-way process: on the one hand, Cairo persistently strove to demonstrate its commitment to the Palestinians and to Arab security; and, on the other, the Arab states – particularly those in the Gulf – were anxious to create a pan-Arab front against Iran, and therefore came to regard Egypt’s peace with Israel as a less important obstacle to the re-establishment of formal relations. The paper concludes with a brief examination of Egypt’s role in the Arab system of the late 1980s, especially its contribution to ‘Arab national security’.