The United Arab Republic, Sudan and Libya have decided to form a federation linking their three countries.
The United Arab Republic, Sudan and Libya have decided to form a federation linking their three countries. The decision was announced in Cairo yesterday (Sunday November 8) after several days of talks between UAR President Anwar Sadat, General Jaafar El-Nimeiry of Sudan and Colonel Muammar Gaddafi of Libya. Palestine guerrilla leader Yasser Arafat also sat in on yesterday's talks.
The three heads of state said they would form a triumvirate leadership which would meet every two months. In addition there will be a joint planning committee drawn from leaders of the higher executive committee of the Arab Socialist Union - the sole Egyptian political party - and the Revolutionary Command Councils of Libya and Sudan.
A communique issued said that they considered their countries historically and geographically suited to form a nucleus for unity, and they hoped their peoples would welcome the move as a step forward in the Arab struggle. The Federation will embrace some 50 million people and is thought to be seen as a loose federal structure rather than a close-knit political union on the lines of the former Egyptian-Syrian link.
The decision to form the federation followed the fourth of a series of summit talks between the three leaders under their tripartite alliance - formed last December after the rise to power of General Nimeiry and Colonel Gaddafi through military coups earlier in that year (1969).
Over the past year the three states have co-operated on several transport and development projects. Libya, with a population of only one-and-a-half million, is by far the richest of the three through its massive oil revenues, and recently received the first four of the 100 Mirage jet fighters ordered from France.