Unilateral Declaration of Egyptian Independence
The Unilateral Declaration of Egyptian Independence was issued by the government
Government of the United Kingdom
Her Majesty's Government is the central government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The Government is led by the Prime Minister, who selects all the remaining Ministers...

 of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was the formal name of the United Kingdom during the period when what is now the Republic of Ireland formed a part of it....

 on 28 February 1922. Through this declaration, the British government unilaterally ended its protectorate
In history, the term protectorate has two different meanings. In its earliest inception, which has been adopted by modern international law, it is an autonomous territory that is protected diplomatically or militarily against third parties by a stronger state or entity...

 over Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 and granted it nominal independence with the exception of four "reserved" areas: foreign relations, communications, the military and the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan
Anglo-Egyptian Sudan
Anglo-Egyptian Sudan referred to the manner by which Sudan was administered between 1899 and 1956, when it was a condominium of Egypt and the United Kingdom.-Union with Egypt:...



The declaration was preceded by a period of inconclusive negotiations between the Egyptian and British governments. Areas of disagreement included Egypt's position on the issues of the protectorate and of its future role in Sudan. Egyptian prime minister Adli Yakan Pasha
Adli Yakan Pasha
Adli Yakan Pasha , sometimes referred to as Adly Pasha, was an Egyptian political figure. He served as Prime Minister of Egypt between 1921 and 1922, again between 1926 and 1927, and finally in 1929. He held several prominent political posts including Foreign Minister, Interior Minister and...

 and moderate Egyptian nationalists managed to obtain the agreement of British High Commissioner Edmund Allenby
Edmund Allenby, 1st Viscount Allenby
Field Marshal Edmund Henry Hynman Allenby, 1st Viscount Allenby GCB, GCMG, GCVO was a British soldier and administrator most famous for his role during the First World War, in which he led the Egyptian Expeditionary Force in the conquest of Palestine and Syria in 1917 and 1918.Allenby, nicknamed...

 to secure the more general issue of Egypt's independence. The government of Liberal
Liberal Party (UK)
The Liberal Party was one of the two major political parties of the United Kingdom during the 19th and early 20th centuries. It was a third party of negligible importance throughout the latter half of the 20th Century, before merging with the Social Democratic Party in 1988 to form the present day...

 British prime minister Lloyd George
David Lloyd George
David Lloyd George, 1st Earl Lloyd-George of Dwyfor OM, PC was a British Liberal politician and statesman...

 wanted to maintain the protectorate over Egypt. However, Allenby threatened to resign. His actions brought the issue of Egyptian independence to public discussion and led to a quick official response: two weeks later the declaration was issued.

Although it met the Egyptian nationalists' immediate demands for an end to the protectorate, the declaration was globally unsatisfactory since it did not grant Egypt full independence. Egyptian sovereignty was greatly restricted by the "reserved points" clause. This led to sustained pressure on the United Kingdom from Egyptian nationalists to renegotiate the relationship between the two countries, which finally occurred with the signing of the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty of 1936
Anglo-Egyptian Treaty of 1936
The Anglo-Egyptian Treaty of 1936 was a treaty signed between the United Kingdom and the Kingdom of Egypt; it is officially known as The Treaty of Alliance Between His Majesty, in Respect of the United Kingdom, and His Majesty, the King of Egypt...



The following text was first published in 1922. As a result, it is currently in the public domain
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 in the United States
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, as well as in the United Kingdom
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 where its Crown copyright
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has expired.

Declaration to Egypt by His Britannic Majesty's Government (February 28, 1922)

Whereas His Majesty's Government, in accordance with their declared intentions, desire forthwith to recognise Egypt as an independent sovereign State; and

Whereas the relations between His Majesty's Government and Egypt are of vital interest to the British Empire;

The following principles are hereby declared:

1. The British Protectorate over Egypt is terminated, and Egypt is declared to be an independent sovereign State.

2. So soon as the Government of His Highness shall pass an Act of Indemnity with application to all inhabitants of Egypt, martial law as proclaimed on the 2nd November, 1914, shall be withdrawn.

3. The following matters are absolutely reserved to the discretion of His Majesty's Government until such time as it may be possible by free discussion and friendly accommodation on both sides to conclude agreements in regard thereto between His Majesty's Government and the Government of Egypt:
(a) The security of the communications of the British Empire in Egypt;
(b) The defence of Egypt against all foreign aggression or interference, direct or indirect;
(c) The protection of foreign interests in Egypt and the protection of minorities;
(d) The Soudan.
Pending the conclusion of such agreements, status quo in all these matters shall remain intact.

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