Exclusive: Asharq Al-Awsat Publishes Post-Camp David Letters

Exclusive: Asharq Al-Awsat Publishes Post-Camp David Letters

Saturday, 2 June, 2018 - 10:00
King Hussein during a meeting with President Carter | Getty
Washington- Atef Abdul Latif
The US Department of State revealed Friday the second part of the exchanged memos between the US administration on one hand and Arab leaders and Israel on the other hand, regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict from August 1977 to December 1980.

The memos included numerous handwritten notes and letters by US Ambassador to Tel Aviv Samuel Lewis, and the exchanged letters among the three US, Israeli and Egyptian leaders after the September 5–17, 1978, Camp David summit.

The documents also included the difficulties and pressures which the three leaders faced after the negotiations ended and until the peace agreement with Egypt was reached.

The State Department said it found these new letters and notes while looking for parts of the letters between the US administration and Arab presidents and Israel under President Ronald Reagan.

It published the first part of those documents in 2014, and they included some of what came during the negotiations in Camp David, which lasted 13 days.

Among the new letters was one sent from then US President Jimmy Carter, following his return to Washington after the summit, to then King Hussein of Jordan, calling on him to support Camp David talks between Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin.

“Egypt and Israel have proven that they want peace. A failure of our effort because of lack of support from other responsible and moderate leaders of the Arab nations would certainly lead to the strengthening of irresponsible and radical elements and a further opportunity for intrusion of Soviet and other Communist influences throughout the Middle East,” said a letter sent by Carter to King Hussein in September 19, 1978.

“I consider future action on this agreement to be crucial for peace in your troubled area, vital for the maintenance of stability among the peoples and nations, and of profound importance to the relations of the United States with the governments involved,” it added.

“I need your strong personal support,” Carter told the King.

At that same day, Carter sent another letter to then Syrian President Hafez al-Assad, saying: “The general framework document signed by Egypt and Israel specifically deals with principles applicable to all fronts of the conflict. United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 in all its parts remains the agreed basis for a peaceful settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict.”

“There must be a just solution to the refugee problem, which takes into account appropriate United Nations resolutions.”

“I know of your deep commitment not only to Syria and the Arab Nation but also of your concern for the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, which Israel has now, for the first time, recognized,” Carter noted.

On September 25, 1978, the documents revealed, Carter sent a letter to Sadat telling him that the parties should hasten to transform the documents that have been reached into actions and negotiations that could solve other issues in Sinai.

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