March 26

This Day in History

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Mar 26, 1979:

Israel-Egyptian peace agreement signed

In a ceremony at the White House, Egyptian President Anwar el-Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin sign a historic peace agreement, ending three decades of hostilities between Egypt and Israel and establishing diplomatic and commercial ties.

Less than two years earlier, in an unprecedented move for an Arab leader, Sadat traveled to Jerusalem, Israel, to seek a permanent peace settlement with Egypt's Jewish neighbor after decades of conflict. Sadat's visit, in which he met with Begin and spoke before Israel's parliament, was met with outrage in most of the Arab world. Despite criticism from Egypt's regional allies, Sadat continued to pursue peace with Begin, and in September 1978 the two leaders met again in the United States, where they negotiated an agreement with U.S. President Jimmy Carter at Camp David, Maryland. The Camp David Accords, the first peace agreement between the state of Israel and one of its Arab neighbors, laid the groundwork for diplomatic and commercial relations. Seven months later, a formal peace treaty was signed.

For their achievement, Sadat and Begin were jointly awarded the 1978 Nobel Prize for Peace. Sadat's peace efforts were not so highly acclaimed in the Arab world--Egypt was suspended from the Arab League, and on October 6, 1981, Muslim extremists assassinated Sadat in Cairo. Nevertheless, the peace process continued without Sadat, and in 1982 Egypt formally established diplomatic relations with Israel.

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This Week in History, Mar 26 - Apr 1

Mar 26, 1979
Israel-Egyptian peace agreement signed
Mar 27, 1998
FDA approves Viagra
Mar 28, 1979
Nuclear accident at Three Mile Island
Mar 29, 1973
U.S. withdraws from Vietnam
Mar 30, 1981
President Reagan shot
Mar 31, 1889
Eiffel Tower opens
Apr 01, 1700
April Fools tradition popularized

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