Nasser Meets Qaddafi


Muammar Qaddafi was a  pan-Arabist and pan-Africanist  revolutionary who took power in a bloodless coup in 1969. His ideology was influenced by the thought of Gamal Abdel Nasser. The photograph shows Qaddafi and Nasser meeting for the first time after the Ai-fatitha Revolution. Qaddafi wanted unity among all Arabs, like Nasser. At first when news of the coup reached Egypt, there was concern. The King Idriss government was not friendly to Nasser’s Egypt being backed by both the United States and the United Kingdom. The uncertainty produced fears of a more hostile regime directed at Egypt. Egypt was suffering for its loss in the Six Day War  and was continuing to fight Israel’s expansion . Nasser and Qaddafi were both dedicated to the liberation of the Palestinians from Israeli occupation. Qaddafi even modeled his government off of Nasser’s calling it the Revolutionary Command Council (RCC). There were discussions of possible mergers between the two countries. These negotiations would  collapse under the Anwar Sadat presidency. Nasser and Qaddafi both fought colonialism and imperialism with their foreign policies and political ideology. Both leaders sought solidarity with leaders from Latin America, Asia, and the African continent as a whole. Nasser would pass away in 1970, but Qaddafi continued pan-African and pan-Arab political projects. He was instrumental in the founding of the Maghreb Union  and the African Union. Qaddafi was assassinated in a NATO invasion of Libya in 2011. These titanic African leaders may be gone, but their ideas and influence can still be felt.


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