|Type||Multilateral trade treaty|
|Drafted||2 March 1888|
|Signed||29 October 1888|
|Location||Constantinople, Ottoman Empire|
|Effective||8 April 1904|
The Convention of Constantinopleis a treaty concerning the use of the Suez Canal in Egypt. It was signed on 29 October 1888 by the United Kingdom, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands, the Russian Empire, and the Ottoman Empire. The Khedivate of Egypt, through whose territory the Canal ran, and to whom all shares in the Suez Canal Company were due to revert when the company's 99 year lease to manage the Canal expired, was not invited to participate in the negotiations, and did not sign the treaty.
The signatories comprised all the great European powers of the era, and the treaty was interpreted as a guaranteed right of passage of all ships through the Suez Canal during war and peace. During the 74 years of the United Kingdom's military presence in Egypt, from 1882 to 1956, the British government was in effective control of the Canal. In 1956, the Egyptian government nationalised the Suez Canal Company. Future wars between Egypt and the State of Israel would see the Canal blocked and unusable for extended periods of time.
In 1875, a financial crisis prompted the Khedive of Egypt, Isma'il the Magnificent, to sell Egypt's shares in the Suez Canal Company to the United Kingdom. Four years later in 1879, the United Kingdom and other Great Powers forced the removal and exile of Isma'il, and his replacement as Khedive by his son, Tewfik Pasha. Discontent with Tewfik's rule sparked the Orabi Revolt of 1881 by nationalist army officers. Interpreting the revolt as a possible threat to their use of the Suez Canal, the United Kingdom intervened militarily in favour of the beleaguered Khedive. British victory in the ensuing Anglo–Egyptian War resulted in Britain acquiring physical control over Egypt, including the Suez Canal. France, which had previously dominated the Canal, and whose investors still controlled the majority of shares in the Suez Canal Company, hoped to weaken British control, and attempted to sway European opinion for internationalising the Canal.
The British and French governments compromised by seeking to neutralise the Canal via treaty. Article I, guaranteeing passage to all ships during war and peace, was in tension with Article X, which allowed the Egyptian government to take measures for "the defence of Egypt and the maintenance of public order." The latter clause was used by the United Kingdom to defend their closing of the Canal to Axis shipping during the Second World War, and by Egypt to justify prohibiting Israeli shipping in the Canal after the onset of the formal state of war between the two states in 1948.
The British government accepted the treaty reluctantly, and only with serious reservations:
The delegates of Great Britain, in offering this text as the definitive rule to secure the free use of the Suez Canal, believe it is their duty to announce a general reservation as to the applicability of its provisions in so far as they are incompatible with the transitory and exceptional state in which Egypt is actually found and so far as they might fetter the liberty of action of the government during the occupation of Egypt by the British forces.
France accepted the reservation but, in accordance with international law at the time, noted that this made the treaty a "technically inoperative" "academic declaration."The reservation was not removed until the Entente Cordiale between the United Kingdom and France, with the Convention finally coming into force in 1904. The Entente Cordiale stipulated that the functioning of the international supervisory commission described in article 8 would "remain in abeyance." However, for the next 40 years, British actions would largely be in the spirit of the abandoned reservation.
On 5 August 1914, at the beginning of the First World War, Egypt under the nationalist Khedive Abbas Hilmi II declared that the Canal would be open to ships of all nations. However, the United Kingdom subsequently deposed Abbas, replacing him with his uncle, Hussein Kamel, and declaring the re-establishment of the Sultanate of Egypt as a British protectorate. Thereafter, Britain barred Canal access to ships of the Central Powers for the duration of the war. Citing the security of the Canal, Britain attempted to maintain its prerogatives in unilateral declarations.
On June 5, 1967, during the Six-Day War, Egypt closed and blockaded the Canal against Israel. The Canal remained blocked and closed through the subsequent War of Attrition of 1968 to 1970, and October War of 1973. The waterway was eventually re-opened on 10 June, 1975. The 14-state Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) currently oversees the terms of the peace treaty over the Canal, which is owned and maintained by the Suez Canal Authority of the Arab Republic of Egypt. According to the international rules which govern navigation through the Suez Canal, Egypt cannot forbid any vessel from passing through the Canal if there is no war between Egypt and that country.
The Suez Canal is an artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt, connecting the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea through the Isthmus of Suez and dividing Africa and Asia. The canal is part of the Silk Road that connects Europe with Asia.
The Suez Crisis, or the Second Arab–Israeli war, also called the Tripartite Aggression in the Arab world and the Sinai War in Israel, was an invasion of Egypt in late 1956 by Israel, followed by the United Kingdom and France. The aims were to regain control of the Suez Canal for the Western powers and to remove Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser, who had just nationalised the foreign-owned Suez Canal Company, which administered the canal. After the fighting had started, political pressure from the United States, the Soviet Union and the United Nations led to a withdrawal by the three invaders. The episode humiliated the United Kingdom and France and strengthened Nasser.
The Entente Cordiale comprised a series of agreements signed on 8 April 1904 between the United Kingdom and the French Republic which saw a significant improvement in Anglo-French relations. Beyond the immediate concerns of colonial demarcation addressed by the agreement, the signing of the Entente Cordiale marked the end of almost a thousand years of intermittent conflict between the two states and their predecessors, and replaced the modus vivendi that had existed since the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815 with a more formal agreement. The Entente Cordiale represented the culmination of the policy of Théophile Delcassé, who believed that a Franco-British understanding would give France some security in Western Europe against any German system of alliances. Credit for the success of the negotiation of the Entente Cordiale belongs chiefly to Paul Cambon and to the British Foreign Secretary, Lord Lansdowne.
Egypt was a major battlefield in the North African campaign during the Second World War, being the location of the First and Second Battles of El Alamein. Legally an independent kingdom, and an equal sovereign power in the condominium of Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, in reality Egypt was heavily under the coercive influence of the United Kingdom, a state of affairs that had persisted since the United Kingdom intervened militarily in the Orabi Revolt in favour of Egypt's Khedive, Tewfik Pasha, in 1882, subsequently occupying the country. The continuing British dominance of Egyptian affairs, including British efforts to exclude Egypt from the governance of Sudan, provoked fierce Egyptian nationalist opposition to the United Kingdom. Consequently, despite playing host to thousands of British troops following the outbreak of the conflict, as it was treaty bound to do, Egypt remained formally neutral during the war, only declaring war on the Axis powers in the spring of 1945. Though escaping the fate of Iraq, and Iran, both of whose governments were toppled by the United Kingdom during the war, Egypt experienced the Abdeen Palace Incident, a confrontation between Egypt's King Farouk and the British military in 1942, the results of which would contribute directly to the Egyptian Revolution of 1952 a decade later.
The Anglo-Egyptian Treaty of 1936 was a treaty signed between the United Kingdom and the Kingdom of Egypt.
Isma'il Pasha, known as Ismail the Magnificent, was the Khedive of Egypt and conqueror of Sudan from 1863 to 1879, when he was removed at the behest of Great Britain. Sharing the ambitious outlook of his grandfather, Muhammad Ali Pasha, he greatly modernized Egypt and Sudan during his reign, investing heavily in industrial and economic development, urbanization, and the expansion of the country's boundaries in Africa.
Anglo-Egyptian Sudan was a condominium of the United Kingdom and Egypt in the Sudans region of northern Africa between 1899 and 1956, corresponding mostly to the territory of present day Sudan, and South Sudan. Legally, sovereignty and administration were shared between both Egypt and the United Kingdom, but in practice the structure of the condominium ensured effective British control over Sudan, with Egypt having limited, local power influence in reality. Following the Egyptian Revolution of 1952, Egypt pushed for an end to the condominium, and the independence of Sudan. By agreement between Egypt and the United Kingdom in 1953, Sudan was granted independence as the Republic of the Sudan on 1 January 1956. In 2011, the south of Sudan itself became independent as the Republic of South Sudan.
The Universal Company of the Maritime Canal of Suez was the concessionary company that constructed the Suez Canal between 1859 and 1869 and operated it until the Suez Crisis that had occurred in 1956. It was formed by Ferdinand de Lesseps in 1858, and it operated the canal for many years thereafter. Initially, French private investors were the majority of the shareholders, with Egypt also having a significant stake.
The Egyptian Revolution of 1952, also known as the 23 July Revolution, was a period of profound political, economic, and societal change in Egypt that began on 23 July 1952 with the toppling of King Farouk in a coup d'etat by the Free Officers Movement, a group of army officers led by Mohammed Naguib and Gamal Abdel Nasser. The Revolution ushered in a wave of revolutionary politics in the Arab World, and Africa, and contributed to the escalation of decolonisation, and the development of Third World solidarity during the Cold War.
The British conquest of Egypt (1882), also known as Anglo-Egyptian War, occurred in 1882 between Egyptian and Sudanese forces under Ahmed ‘Urabi and the United Kingdom. It ended a nationalist uprising against the Khedive Tewfik Pasha. It established firm British influence over Egypt at the expense of the Egyptians, the French, and the Ottoman Empire, whose already weak authority became nominal.
The Kingdom of Egypt was the legal form of the Egyptian state during the latter period of the Muhammad Ali dynasty's reign, from the United Kingdom's recognition of Egyptian independence in 1922 until the abolition of the monarchy of Egypt and Sudan in 1953 following the Egyptian Revolution of 1952. Until the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty of 1936, the Kingdom was only nominally independent, as the United Kingdom retained control of foreign relations, communications, the military, and Sudan. Officially, Sudan was governed as a condominium of the two states, however, in reality, true power in Sudan lay with the United Kingdom. Between 1936 and 1952, the United Kingdom continued to maintain its military presence, and its political advisers, at a reduced level.
The Muhammad Ali dynasty was the ruling dynasty of Egypt and Sudan from the 19th to the mid-20th century. It is named after its progenitor, Muhammad Ali Pasha, regarded as the founder of modern Egypt. It was also more formally known as the Alawiyya or Alawite dynasty in contemporary English, and as Al-ʾUsra al-ʿAlawiyya in Arabic. Because a majority of the rulers from this dynasty bore the title Khedive, it was often referred to by contemporaries as the Khedival dynasty.
The Bombardment of Alexandria in Egypt by the British Mediterranean Fleet took place on 11–13 July 1882.
The Khedivate of Egypt was an autonomous tributary state of the Ottoman Empire, established and ruled by the Muhammad Ali Dynasty following the defeat and expulsion of Napoleon Bonaparte's forces which brought an end to the short-lived French occupation of Lower Egypt. The Khedivate of Egypt had also expanded to control present-day Sudan, South Sudan, Eritrea, Djibouti, northern Somalia, Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Greece, Cyprus, southern and central Turkey, in addition to parts from Libya, Chad, Central African Republic, and Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as northwestern Saudi Arabia, parts of Yemen and the Kingdom of Hejaz.
Egypt–United Kingdom relations refers to the bilateral relationship between Egypt and Great Britain. Relations are longstanding. They involve politics, defence, trade and education, as well as issues regarding the Suez Canal.
The history of Egypt under the British lasts from 1882, when it was occupied by British forces during the Anglo-Egyptian War, until 1956 after the Suez Crisis, when the last British forces withdrew in accordance with the Anglo-Egyptian agreement of 1954. The first period of British rule (1882–1914) is often called the "veiled protectorate". During this time the Khedivate of Egypt remained an autonomous province of the Ottoman Empire, and the British occupation had no legal basis but constituted a de facto protectorate over the country. Egypt was thus not part of the British Empire. This state of affairs lasted until 1914 when the Ottoman Empire joined the First World War on the side of the Central Powers and Britain declared a protectorate over Egypt. The ruling khedive was deposed and his successor, Hussein Kamel, compelled to declare himself Sultan of Egypt independent of the Ottomans in December 1914.
The Ethiopian–Egyptian War was a war between the Ethiopian Empire and the Khedivate of Egypt, a vassal state of the Ottoman Empire, from 1874 to 1876. It remains the only war between Egypt and Ethiopia in modern times. The conflict resulted in an unequivocal Ethiopian victory that guaranteed Ethiopia's continued independence in the years immediately preceding the Scramble for Africa. Conversely, for Egypt the war was a costly failure, severely blunting the regional aspirations of Egypt as an African empire, and laying the foundations for the beginning of the United Kingdom's 'veiled protectorate' over Egypt less than a decade later.
The Dufferin Report issued on 6 February 1883 was the result of Lord Dufferin being sent by Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone to assess the situation of the Egyptian government after the defeat of the 'Urabi Revolt. The report suggested reforming the Egyptian government to preserve British influence, establish a 'veiled protectorate' and ensure that Britain was the sole western influencer in Egypt.
British foreign policy in the Middle East has involved multiple considerations, particularly over the last two and a half centuries. These included maintaining access to British India, blocking Russian or French threats to that access, protecting the Suez Canal, supporting the declining Ottoman Empire against Russian threats, guaranteeing an oil supply after 1900 from Middle East fields, protecting Egypt and other possessions in the Middle East, and enforcing Britain's naval role in the Mediterranean. The timeframe of major concern stretches from the 1770s when the Russian Empire began to dominate the Black Sea, down to the Suez Crisis of the mid-20th century and involvement in the Iraq War in the early 21st. These policies are an integral part of the history of the foreign relations of the United Kingdom.
Mehemet Ali was a steam frigate of the navy of the Khedivate of Egypt. She was probably built in England and was launched circa 1860. Mehemet Ali deployed to Port Said in 1874 to support Egyptian Army forces under General Charles Pomeroy Stone during a dispute with the Suez Canal Company. She served as an escort to troopships during the 1877 Russo-Turkish War and was laid up in 1880.
|Wikisource has original text related to this article:|