Camp David Accords: Twenty-Five Documents After Twenty-Five Years
Document 1 and Document 2: These letters from President Jimmy Carter to President Anwar Sadat of Egypt and Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin of Israel were written during the first month of President Carter’s administration. They indicate President Carter’s early personal commitment to the Middle East peace process as well as his eagerness to meet with both Sadat and Rabin.
Document 3: This letter from nine United States Senators represented the support that President Carter was to have in his quest for Middle East peace.
Document 4: There were to be many obstacles to Middle East peace, and President Carter appealed to President Sadat for his support in this letter. One month later President Sadat visited Israel for the first time.
Document 5: President Sadat’s plan to visit Israel solicited this speech by Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, who had succeeded Prime Minister Rabin after a surprise election victory.
Document 6: This President Sadat letter to President Carter recognized the international respect that was accorded to President Carter’s success in negotiating the Panama Canal treaties. President Sadat also emphasized Israeli activities and negotiating positions that discouraged support of other Arab nations for the peace process.
Document 7: One week later, as President Carter prepared to meet with Prime Minister Begin, National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski asserted that a renewed commitment to Israeli security should be coupled with an appeal for Begin recognition of President Sadat’s requirements.
Document 8 and Document 9: On August 3, 1978, President Carter wrote private letters to President Sadat and Prime Minister Begin to be delivered by Secretary of State Cyrus Vance. The letters proposed a meeting of Carter, Sadat, and Begin at a time and location to be determined.
Document 10: President Carter’s schedule for September 5, 1978, records the arrival at Camp David of First Lady Rosalynn Carter, President Sadat, and Prime Minister Begin.
Document 11: Ten days later President Carter sent this message to Prime Minister Begin and President Sadat to suggest an honorable and respectable closure to what then appeared to be a failed peace effort.
Document 12: This is President Carter’s draft of what became the “Framework for the Conclusion of a Peace Treaty Between Egypt and Israel.”
Document 13: President Carter’s notes indicate the difficulty of the last few hours of negotiations at Camp David.
Document 14: President Carter’s schedule for September 17, 1978, records the hectic activities that culminated in a signing ceremony in the East Room of the White House late on a Sunday evening.
Document 15: The next day President Carter accepted the congratulations of former National Security Adviser and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.
Document 16: On Sunday, September 17, 1978, cellist Mstislav Rostropovich had been hosted by First Lady Rosalynn Carter at a White House concert as Carter, Begin, and Sadat wrapped up their Camp David discussions.
Document 17: One month later Prime Minister Begin and President Sadat were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Both President Sadat and National Security Adviser Brzezinski believed that President Carter should have been included in the award, an honor that President Carter was eventually accorded in December, 2002.
Document 18: As this memo from Brzezinski to the President suggests, tough negotiations continued after the Camp David Accords until March, 1979.
Document 19: On March 7,1979, the President and Mrs. Carter departed for Egypt and Israel to once again bring the President’s personal force to bear on the post-Camp David negotiations of an Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty.
Document 20: This is the President’s schedule on March 13, 1979, the day on which he finally nailed down a peace treaty agreement.
Document 21: The President and First Lady returned to Andrews Air Force Base shortly after midnight on March 14, 1979, to be welcomed back to the United States by an enthusiastic crowd of approximately one thousand people.
Document 22: March 26, 1979, featured the signing ceremony for the Treaty of Peace Between the Arab Republic of Egypt and the State of Israel in the afternoon on the North Lawn of the White House, followed that evening by a State Dinner on the South Lawn of the White House.
Document 23: President Carter’s handwritten editing of his statement delivered at the signing ceremony demonstrates his attention to detail even to the last moment of the peace process.
Document 24 and Document 25: Despite the success of the Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty in preserving peace between those two nations, the Middle East continued to be a volatile region throughout the Carter administration and to the present.