Carter, Begin, and Sadat close deal
An official ceremony held in the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem Wednesday marked the 30-year anniversary of Israel's peace agreement with Egypt.
Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said during the proceedings, "We can't afford a leadership that forgoes peace. At the end of the day there is no doubt that the cooperation between Israel and Egypt is greater than the gaps between their positions."
Yitzhak Navon, who was Israel's president at the time of the signing of the deal, and Egypt's Ambassador to Israel Yasser Reda, were also present at the ceremony.
Navon recounted a dramatic meeting he had with former US President Jimmy Carter, who presided over the peace talks. Carter had come to him to express his frustration over former Prime Minister Menachem Begin's refusal to sign the deal without passing it through the Knesset first.
"I calmed him down and told him not to worry, Begin would get it in the end, because even his opposition wants peace more than him. He was in tears," Navon said.
Reda also spoke at the ceremony and said, "For 30 years the two countries have been enjoying the fruits of peace and this convention is a sign of the strength of our relationship."
He also referred to the Palestinian issue, saying it was "still the Arab-Israeli point of contention." Despite this, he said, "President Mubarak has declared 2009 a year of peace in the region and we are all obligated to aim for it."
He warned that more construction in the settlements could sabotage this aim.