United Arab Republic, political union (1958–61) of Egypt and Syria. The capital was Cairo. The two countries were merged (1958) into a single unit comprising the Southern (Egypt) and the Northern (Syria) Regions, with Gamal Abdal Nasser as president. As an initial step toward creating a pan-Arab union, the republic abolished Syrian and Egyptian citizenship, termed its inhabitants Arabs, and called the country “Arab territory.” It considered the Arab homeland to be the entire area between the Persian Gulf and the Atlantic coast. With Yemen (North Yemen), it formed (1958) a loose federation called the United Arab States. In 1961, Syria withdrew from the union after a military coup, and Yemen soon followed, thus ending the union. Egypt continued to use the name until 1971.
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