Egyptian President Anwar Sadat (C) arrived in Israel on Nov. 19, 1977. On photo, Prime Minister Menachem Begin (L) and President Ephraim Katzir. (GPO) (GPO)
Sadat lands in Israel

Sadat Begin

PM Menachem Begin welcomes Egyptian President Sadat to the dinner in his honor, Nov. 20, 1977. (Ya’acov Sa’ar, GPO)

President Anwar Sadat of Egypt was the first Arab leader to visit the State of Israel. His brave initiative eventually led to the peace treaty signed between the two countries.

Egyptian President Anwar Sadat landed at Israel’s Ben-Gurion airport on November 19, 1977, marking the start of his historic 36-hour visit to Israel. He was the first Arab leader to visit the State of Israel.

Sadat’s courageous initiative eventually led to the peace treaty signed between Israel and Egypt in March 1979.

“Let us say to one another, and let it be a silent oath by both peoples… more wars, no more bloodshed and no more threats,” Prime Minister Menachem Begin said in a statement to the Egyptian people, in response to Sadat’s historic declaration that he was willing to go to Jerusalem to discuss an end to war and bloodshed.

“On the diplomatic plane,” Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) states, “the peace treaty has made a great contribution on both the bilateral and regional level. In the face of difficult events…the peace between Israel and Egypt has proven to be stable and solid.”

Cooperation between Egypt and Israel continues to this day, according to the MFA, including a joint military committee, a joint economic committee promoting trade, and a joint agricultural committee that has helped launch hundreds of projects aimed at improving both countries’ agricultural expertise.

Partnership in tourism, transportation, communications and health also takes place.

However, “despite the progress,” the MFA explains, “much still has to be done apropos the peace between the two countries, such as bringing the populations themselves closer together.”