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The Peace Process Begins

Since its establishment in 1948, the State of Israel has sought peace with its neighbors through direct negotiations. However, its efforts to reach out for peace and to open direct channels of dialogue were not met by similar efforts on the Arab side. Until the 1991 Madrid Conference, only Egypt had accepted Israel's offer to negotiate face-to-face. Late Egyptian President Anwar Sadat accepted Prime Minister Begin's invitation for dialogue, and the two countries embarked on historic bilateral negotiations which led to the 1978 Camp David Accords and the 1979 Israel-Egypt peace treaty. Since then, peace has prevailed on our mutual border and cooperation between the two states is growing.

In May 1989, Israel presented a new peace initiative. The breakup of the Soviet Union and the Gulf War produced a change in the basic political order of the Middle East, prompting the Arab world to reassess its attitude toward Israel and to enter into negotiations to build a new future for the Middle East.

In October 1991, a conference was convened in Madrid to inaugurate direct peace talks. Subsequently, bilateral negotiations were conducted between Israel and Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and the Palestinians, as well as multilateral talks on key regional issues. To date, these negotiations have resulted in a peace treaty between Israel and Jordan, and a series of interim agreements with the Palestinians.

Source: Israeli Foreign Ministry