Abbas II of Egypt

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HH Abbas II Hilmi Bey (also known as Abbas Hilmi Pasha) (Arabic: عباس حلمي باشا‎) (14 July 1874 – 19 December 1944) was the last Khedive of Egypt and Sudan (8 January 1892 – 19 December 1914).[1]

Contents

Early life

Abbas II was the great-great-grandson of Muhammad Ali. He succeeded his father, Tewfik Pasha, as Khedive of Egypt and Sudan. As a boy he visited the United Kingdom, and he had a British tutor for some time in Cairo. He then went to school in Lausanne, and from there passed on to the Theresianum in Vienna. In addition to Arabic and Turkish, he had good conversational knowledge of English, French and German.

Reign

He was still in college in Vienna when he assumed the throne of the Khedivate of Egypt upon the sudden death of his father. He was barely of age according to Egyptian law; eighteen in cases of succession to the throne. For some time he did not cooperate very cordially with the United Kingdom, whose army had occupied Egypt in 1882. As he was young and eager to exercise his new power, he resented the interference of the British Agent and Consul General in Cairo, Sir Evelyn Baring, later made Lord Cromer. At the outset of his reign, Khedive Abbas surrounded himself with a coterie of European advisers who opposed the British occupation of Egypt and Sudan and encouraged the young Khedive to challenge Cromer by replacing his ailing prime minister with a nationalist. At Cromer's behest, Lord Roseberry, the British foreign secretary, sent him a letter stating that the Khedive was obliged to consult the British consul on such issues as cabinet appointments. In January 1894 Abbas, while on an inspection tour of Egyptian army installations near the southern border, the Mahdists being at the time still in control of Sudan, made public remarks disparaging the Egyptian army units commanded by British officers. The British commander of the Egyptian army, Sir Herbert Kitchener, immediately offered to resign. Cromer strongly supported Kitchener and pressed the Khedive and prime minister to retract the Khedive's criticisms of the British officers. From that time on, Abbas no longer publicly opposed the British, but secretly created, supported, and sustained the nationalist movement, which came to be led by Mustafa Kamil. As Kamil's thrust was increasingly aimed at winning popular support for a National Party, Khedive Abbas publicly distanced himself from the Nationalists.[citation needed]

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