Skip to content
Photograph of Gamal Abdel Nasser

Nasser, Gamal Abdel 1918- 1970

Photograph of Gamal Abdel Nasser

Popular Documents

June 20, 1967

On Soviet Policy following the Israeli Aggression in the Middle East

Polish document describing the speech given by Soviet Leader Leonid Brezhnev to the Plenum of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CC CPSU) on the actions undertaken by the Soviet leadership before and during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. Brezhnev tells the CC CPSU plenum that the Arab struggle in the Middle East has both a class struggle and a national liberation dimension. Brezhnev blames Israeli aggression for the start of the war and Arab blunders and low morale for the humiliating defeat of the UAR forces. Given the success of the Israeli Defense Forces, the Soviets were forced to consider diplomatic and political methods for saving the Arab leadership. When Israeli forces did not stop their aggression against Syria, threatening to overrun the Syrian capital of Damascus, Brezhnev claims tells the CC CPSU that Soviet leadership warned the Americans that the Soviet Army would have to intervene and, at the same time, threatened the Israeli that any further actions would result in Soviet involvement in the war. Brezhnev claims that, since the war ended just hours after the Soviets had made their threats, the imperialist powers acquiesced to Soviet demands. This documents is a translation of the version the Soviet leadership sent to the United Polish Workers’ Party for the information of the Polish leadership.

December 17, 1963

Record of the Second Meeting between Premier Zhou Enlai and President Nasser

Zhou and Nasser discuss developments in and relations with Libya, Tunisia, Israel, Palestine, Morocco, Yemen, and Mauritania, as well as the Non-Aligned Movement and the proposed second Asian-African Conference.

June 26, 1964

Report on the 1st and 2nd Conference of Non-Aligned Countries

According to this report, the African and Asian countries were not satisfied with the 1st Belgrade conference and were trying to call what is known today as the 2nd non-aligned conference in Bandung. Tito and Nehru also reiterated the need for the 2nd conference of non-aligned countries in order to undermine the attempts of the former in initiating the effort. According to the Western press, Nehru took the initiative and sent his Vice-Foreign Minister, Dinish Sing, to Cairo and Belgrade where he met Nasser and Tito, both of whom were expecting him. Tito called for more participants from Africa, Asia, and Latin America. According to Tito’s recommendation, on March 23, 1964, in Colombo, Ceylon, the preparatory meeting was held on the ambassadorial level of Asian, African, and Latin American countries about the upcoming conference. The Soviet Union expressed its support for this conference in Soviet media. The report reveals the following to be discussed topics at the conference: peace, peaceful coexistence, resolution of disputes without the use of force, disarmament, etc. The Albanian government supports the conference of non-aligned countries in principle, but it does not show enthusiasm and avoids promoting the conference in Albania, in the media, and in the international arena. In addition, the report stresses that Albanian diplomats are ordered to follow the Ministry’s guidelines in order to maintain specific policies targeted at each Asian and African country individually.

December 20, 1963

Record of Premier Zhou Enlai's Calling on President Nasser

Zhou and Nasser discuss domestic conditions inside of Egypt, the Sino-Indian border war, and the possibilities for a nuclear weapons free zone in Africa and the Middle East.

February 2, 1958

The Speech of President Gamal Abdel Nasser to the Afro-Asian Youth Conference, Monday, 2 February [Fibrair Shbat] 1958 / 24 Rajab 1378

This is an English translation of a speech originally given in Arabic in 1958 by Gamal Abdel Nasser (1918-1970) and then reprinted in a book published in Cairo.

An officer by training and profession and a participant in the 1952 coup that ended Egypt’s country’s monarchy, Nasser in 1954 became president of Egypt and as such the president of the United Arab Republic (UAR), which was formed with Syria in 1958 and which continued to exist for a decade after Syria left the union in 1961. Having met India’s president Jawahrlal Nehru already in 1954, Nasser began playing an important political role also beyond the Middle East in the 1955 Bandung Conference in Indonesia. His star rose precipitously in 1956, when he nationalized the Suez Canal and when France and Britain had to withdraw their forces from the canal after occupying its northern part in November 1956. Given Egypt’s position in the Middle East and internationally, the US administration was concerned this aggression would play into the hands of its Cold War rival, the Sovet Union. The US forced its NATO allies (and their Israeli colluders) to withdraw—a defeat that Egyptians celebrated as their own anti-imperialist success and that deepened Nasser’s popularity among many Arabs and other decolonizing and postcolonial people.

It was against that background that the Egyptian government further upped its international profile. This now occurred also vis-à-vis Asia and not “only” vis-à-vis Africa, which had been an important arena for the republican regime’s foreign policy from before Bandung. Thus, in 1957 Nasser’s government organized the Afro-Asian People’s Solidarity Conference that, analyzed in Reem Abou-el-Fadl’s “Building Egypt’s Afro-Asian Hub” (2019), led to Cairo housing the secretariat of the Afro-Asian Peoples’ Solidarity Organisation. And in early 1958, it held the Afro-Asian Youth Conference. By this time and in the 1960s, Cairo became a key transnational hub for decolonization movements especially from Africa, as Eric Burton has shown in "Hubs of Decolonization. African Liberation Movements and Eastern Connections in Cairo, Accra and Dar es Salaam" (2019).

The text printed here is Nasser's address to the Afro-Asian Youth Conference, which happened to take place a mere day after the Syrian-Egyptian UAR was formally announced.