Egyptian foreign policy is characterised by plurality and conflict due to the difference of interests among the countries of the region. Egypt has been and remains a key player politically in the Arab region, and has also taken a decisive lead culturally both in the arts and media. Egyptian foreign policy concerning the African continent has been cautious, but the African Levant was important to leaders of the 23 July Revolution of 1952.
The French campaign in Egypt raised awareness among the population of the need for the restoration of their heritage and a return to their glorious civilization according to modern tenets. This was the dream that Muhammad ‘Ali Pasha, the Wali of Egypt, turned into reality when he declared Egypt’s independence from the Ottoman Empire and escalated Egypt’s scientific, cultural and economic relations with Europe. In doing this ‘Ali Pasha was able to establish a powerful nation, although in turn Egypt’s success threatened the empires that existed during the period. For this reason Britain occupied Egypt and the country remained under British rule until 1954, despite the unilateral declaration of Egyptian independence of 1922.