March 7, 1979 – A momentous day in the Middle-East peace process. President Carter, determined to renew the Middle-East peace efforts was flying to Egypt to meet one-on-one with Sadat in Cairo, before heading off the following day to meet with Prime Minister Begin in Jerusalem. The President did not have a deal as he departed this day for the Middle East, and so he was taking some risks. During talks at Camp David, one Carter’s main points made to Prime Minister Begin was the worsening situation in the Middle East, dramatized by the fall of the government of the Shah in Iran. The U.S. was now more dependent than ever on oil from Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations, and less able to tilt toward Israel. All of this may have helped Begin to accept some or Mr. Carter’s new suggestions for solving old problems within the complicated Israeli-Egyptian Peace treaty. When Carter phoned Sadat with the news, Sadat invited Carter to come to Cairo to work out a final settlement. Considering Carter’s falling approval rating at home, due in large part to issues of Foreign Policy, Carter decided the gamble was worth it. And so it became one last best shot.
Further East – Radio Hanoi proclaimed a “splendid victory over China” in its border conflict with Beijing. Vietnam, said it would allow Chinese troops with withdraw if they did not commit any acts of war during the pullout. According to press reports, the invasion had “come a cropper” and went on to say Vietnam would allow the withdrawal to proceed with “goodwill for peace’. Vietnam said it would begin negotiations with Beijing as soon as all Chinese troops were back across the borderline between the two countries. Reports indicated the Chinese were in the midst of an orderly withdrawal and in some cases not taking along damaged equipment. There were also reports that fighting had tapered off. Vietnamese troops were moving into position, so there was some question as to whether the withdrawal would be entirely smooth. Time would tell.
And representatives of the two Korea’s met again this day in Panmunjom and promptly got nowhere. The only common ground to be found was that neither team of negotiators considered the other an acceptable partner for discussing reunification of Korea. And so it went.
And that’s a little of what went on, this March 7, 1979 as reported by The CBS World news Roundup.