History, Overthrow of the Monarchy
Muammar, Qaddafi, revolutionary government, Libyans, royal government
A new era in the history of Libya began on September 1, 1969, when a group of young army officers overthrew the royal government and established a republic under the name Libyan Arab Republic. The revolutionary government, led by Muammar al-Qaddafi, a 27-year-old army officer aspiring to leadership of the Arab world, showed a determination thereafter to play a larger role in the affairs of the Middle East and North Africa. Representatives of Libya engaged in discussions with Egypt and the Sudan on plans for the coordination of economic, military, and political policies of the three countries. In September 1971, Egypt, Libya, and Syria agreed to form a federation designed for mutual military advantage against Israel. This and a later agreement to form a union with Tunisia were abandoned in 1974.
In internal affairs the Qaddafi regime nationalized all banks and decreed that all businesses must become wholly owned by Libyans. Agreement was reached with foreign-owned oil companies that increased Libya’s annual oil revenues by $770 million at that time. In the early 1970s, however, Libya also nationalized the oil resources of the country. After the Arab-Israeli War of 1973 Libya joined in an embargo of oil sales to the West and urged higher prices to the oil-consuming countries.
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