Political map of Europe & the Mediterranean 22 February 1958 (Arab Nationalism): After the Suez fiasco (Suez Crisis), Britain and France abandoned their colonial empires (Decolonization of Africa), with France turning to closer ties with its European neighbors (European Economic Community). In the Arab world, the affair turned Egypt's President Nasser (Gamal Abdel Nasser) into a hero and encouraged Syria to join Egypt in the United Arab Republic, intended as the first step towards a larger pan-Arab state (Pan-Arabism). However the move was feared by the monarchies of Jordan and Iraq, who formed their own federation (Arab Federation) in response. In the end, neither union lasted long and the hopes of Arab nationalism faded.