The Camp David Accords were historic peace agreements signed by the leaders of Egypt (President Anwar El Sadat) and Israel (Prime Minister Menachem Begin) on September 17, 1978. Secret talks to negotiate the agreements were held at Camp David in Maryland. United States President Jimmy Carter took part in the negotiations.
Sadat and Begin Source: U.S. News and World Report
War Between Israel and Egypt
Before the Camp David Accords, Israel and Egypt had been at war for many years. In 1967, Israel fought Egypt, Syria, and Jordan in the Six-Day War. Israel won the war and gained control of the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt.
Anwar Sadat Becomes the Egyptian President
In 1970, Anwar Sadat became president of Egypt. He wanted to regain control of the Sinai and end the war with Israel. In 1973, Egypt attacked Israel and tried to retake the Sinai Peninsula in the Yom Kippur War. Although Israel won the war, Sadat gained political prestige in the region for his daring attack.
Initial Peace Efforts
After the Yom Kipper War, Sadat began to try and form peace agreements with Israel. He hoped that by making peace with Israel, Egypt could regain the Sinai and the United States would provide aid to a struggling Egyptian economy. He began to work with both the United States and Israel on forming a peace agreement.
Meetings at Camp David
In 1978, President Jimmy Carter invited President Sadat from Egypt and Prime Minister Menachem Begin from Israel to come to the United States. They met in secret at the presidential retreat Camp David in Maryland. The negotiations were tense. They lasted for 13 days. President Carter played an important role keeping both sides talking throughout the negotiations.
The Camp David Accords
On September 17, 1978 the two sides came to an agreement and signed the accords. The accords established a framework for peace between the two countries and in the Middle East. They led to an official peace treaty between the two countries that returned the Sinai to Egypt, established diplomatic relations between Egypt and Israel, and opened the Suez Canal to Israeli ships.
The Camp David Accords led to a peace treaty between Israel and Egypt after many years of war. Both Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1978. However, the rest of the Arab countries in the Middle East were not happy with Egypt. They kicked Egypt out of the Arab League and denounced any peace agreement with Israel. On October 6, 1981, Anwar Sadat was assassinated by Islamic extremists for his part in the peace agreements.
Interesting Facts About the Camp David Accords
Begin and Sadat did not like each other. Most of their communication was through President Carter.
The U.S. offered billions of dollars in subsidies to both countries in return for signing the agreements. These subsidies continue today.
The accords had two "frameworks." One was a Framework for Peace in the Middle East and the other was a Framework for the Conclusion of a Peace Treaty between Egypt and Israel.
It was First Lady Rosalynn Carter who had the idea of inviting the two leaders to Camp David.