September 19, 1978 -The day after the milestone Camp David meeting between Israel’s Manachem Begin, Egypt’s Anwar Sadat and President Carter and Carter’s address before a joint session of Congress, the nuts and bolts and rounds of Capitol Hill meetings were taking place. First was Sadat’s appearance before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and then Begin’s appearance before the House International Relations Committee. And after that, the two switching committees.
And then followed reaction from neighboring Arab states to the accord and a general sense of crossed fingers the plan would stick.The events of the days before did not guarantee peace in the Middle-East. The documents signed by the three leaders was indeed historic, but so too, were they fragile. Peace in the Middle East depended not just on Egypt and Israel alone, but on the rest of the Arab world as well. During his address the previous night, President Carter reiterated the importance of Arab backing for those agreements. While Carter was delivering his address, word reached the President that King Hussein of Jordan and King Khalid of Saudi Arabia were ready to receive Secretary of State Cyrus Vance so that he may explain the terms of the Camp David Agreement. President Carter called on the other Arab leaders to do likewise in order to sustain peace in the Middle East.
Secretary Vance was slated to leave later on that evening on a journey that included only two stops; Jordan and Saudi Arabia, but that said a great deal. It was the administration’s belief that the negotiation affecting the Palestinian problem on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip would never really get off the ground unless King Hussein joins the talks and King Khalid gives his political, economic and spiritual blessings to this effort. That would get Sadat off the hook, off the impression that he placed the interests of Egypt ahead of the rest of the Arab world, and was really seeking and in fact arranging, a separate peace with Israel. How it was all going to transpire remained to be seen in the coming weeks and months.
And that’s a little of what went on, this September 19, 1978, but the news of this milestone accord grabbed the headlines just about everywhere. Here is The CBS World News Roundup for September 19, 1978.