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Introduction: The regularity and richness of the annual Nile River flood, coupled with semi-isolation provided by deserts to the east and west, allowed for the development of one of the world's great civilizations. A unified kingdom arose circa 3200 B.C., and a series of dynasties ruled in Egypt for the next three millennia. The last native dynasty fell to the Persians in 341 B.C., who in turn were replaced by the Greeks, Romans, and Byzantines. It was the Arabs who introduced Islam and the Arabic language in the 7th century and who ruled for the next six centuries. A local military caste, the Mamluks took control about 1250 and continued to govern after...

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Government and Political Conditions: Egypt's March 19, 2011 public referendum produced a temporary constitutional framework that empowers the SCAF to govern Egypt in the interim, with the goal of transferring power to a civilian government and drafting a new constitution in 2012.

Egypt's parliament is made up of a 508-seat People's Assembly (498 elected) and a 270-seat Shura Council (180 elected). Egyptians now ...

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International Relations: Egypt remains an important regional interlocutor, and plays an active role in the Arab League. It is also a member of the United Nations and is the highest contributor to peacekeeping forces in Africa.

Egypt and the EU

The EU-Egypt Association Agreement came into force on June 2004 and an Action Plan for political dialogue and sectoral cooperation has been in place since 2007. The Action Plan includes provisions for initiating free trade between the EU and Egypt and co-operation in a wide range of fields, including regular political dialogue on issues such as human rights, rule of law and ...

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