Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty Is Signed

March 26, 2019


March 26, 1979

Sixteen months after Egyptian President Anwar Sadat’s historic visit to Jerusalem and Knesset address the Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty was signed at the White House in Washington. Nearly 1,500 people attended the ceremony. Both Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Sadat gave credit to President Jimmy Carter for his role in the negotiations.  Carter had hosted the leaders and their delegations at Camp David in September 1978 and, in mid-March 1979, he engaged in shuttle diplomacy between Cairo and Jerusalem to help ensure the negotiations came to fruition.

The centerpiece of the Treaty was Israeli withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula over a three-year period. In return for undertaking the withdrawal, Egypt agreed to recognize Israel and  end the state of war between the countries, while establishing normal diplomatic relations.  The Treaty contained nine articles, a military annex, an annex dealing with the relations between the parties, and agreed minutes interpreting the main articles of the treaty. Among them were Article 6, the withdrawal schedule, exchange of ambassadors, security arrangements, and the agreement relating to the autonomy talks. The latter issue was contained in a letter addressed by Sadat and Begin to Carter.

In a separate Israel-US Memorandum of Agreement, concluded on the same day, the United States spelled out its commitments to Israel’s security in case the Treaty was violated, namely the future US supply of military and economic aid to Israel.

The complete Treaty is available here: http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/isregypt.asp