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The Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party was a political party founded in Syria by Michel Aflaq, Salah al-Din al-Bitar and associates of Zaki al-Arsuzi. The party espoused Ba'athism, which is an ideology mixing Arab nationalist, pan-Arabism, Arab socialist and anti-imperialist interests. Ba'athism calls for unification of the Arab world into a single state. Its motto, "Unity, Liberty, Socialism", refers to Arab unity, and freedom from non-Arab control and interference. The party was founded by the merger of the Arab Ba'ath Movement, led by Aflaq and al-Bitar, and the Arab Ba'ath, led by al-Arsuzi, on 7 April 1947 as the Arab Ba'ath Party. The party quickly established branches in other Arab countries, although it would only hold power in Iraq and Syria. The Arab Ba'ath Party merged with the Arab Socialist Party, led by Akram al-Hawrani, in 1952 to form the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party. The newly-formed party was a relative success, and became the second-largest party in the Syrian parliament in the 1954 election. This, coupled with the increasing strength of the Syrian Communist Party, led to the establishment of the United Arab Republic, a union of Egypt and Syria. The union would prove unsuccessful, and a Syrian coup in 1961 dissolved the union. (via Freebase)