The Diplomacy of War and Peace: Fifty years since the war of 1973
On the 3rd of October 2023, ECFA organized a symposium about October victory and the passing of 50 years since the war. The symposium was divided among three session: the opening session, the first session “Egypt and the Road to the War”, and the second session “An Overview about the International and Regional Environment for the period from 1967 to 1973”. Participated in the symposium His Excellency the Minister of Foreign Affairs/Mr. Sameh Shokry, The Ambassadors: Mohamed Al- Oraby, Dr. Mohamed Anis Salem, Dr. Mohamed Badr El Din Zayed, Dr. Ezzat Saad, and Professors: Dr. Ali El Din Hilal, Dr. Mohamed Kamal.
The symposium has discussed the following:
Affirmation that the victory of October is a military victory, in addition to the victory of diplomatic efforts before, within, and after the war. This war is an example of cooperation between military and diplomatic actions to reach a peaceful solutions. The role of diplomacy flourished in negotiations and mediations to restore Taba and Sinai.
This war resembled all meanings of dignity and loyalty to the homeland. This war is an example of restoring the land with dignity through military force, and victory was achieved after defeat. Also, through this war, the country sees the future and give an example of a country that seeks peace and present a respect for sovereignty, by this way, it’s important to learn from it in recent issues.
This war is an example of collaboration between diplomacy and force. It manifests the cooperation among state institutions on different levels, and among the Arab countries except the period of polarization.
The setback of 1967 had a sad impact on the people, as it indicates the failure of the state. From the setback to the victory, the efforts of the former president Gamal Abdel Nassir is figured out in rebuilding the military and its confidence, and understanding the reasons of defeat. War of attrition was a turning point at that time, and the years after that were difficult, and there was change in the Egyptian foreign policy like its cooperation with United States of America as an ally. Also, This period witnessed the use of petrol as a weapon.
The period between 1967 and 1973 is important and there’s no studies about it, although there are documents for this period. In this regard, there’s a suggestion that to release the documents and create a unit in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and to be called “The Historian of the Egyptian Diplomacy” to document the Egyptian diplomacy as the counterparts USA and Israel. This period, as well, witnessed changes on local, regional and international levels.
On the international level, there’s an American interest in October victory, and it presents a vital policy of USA towards the Middle East. This period witnessed the rise of the role of Henry Kiesinger and his idea of “Gradual Diplomacy”, his efforts to push Egypt-USA relations, and his support to Israel. The position of USA before, within, after the war is consensual and competitive. Also, the war was unpredicted to USA as well as the decision of oil embargo.
On the level of Arab states, there’s no agreement regarding the war among the Arabs. In spite of the Arabic support to Egypt and Syria at that time through oil weapon, loans, and grants, and military support, this period witnessed a division and polarization among Arabs. The efforts of Abd El Nassir appeared in this time in restoring Arabs cohesion.