Pompeo speaking at lectern (State Dept./Ron Przysucha)
Secretary Pompeo delivers remarks at the Egypt-Israel Treaty of Peace 40th Anniversary Commemoration Ceremony on April 30, along with Israeli Ambassador Dermer (left) and Egyptian Ambassador Reda (second from right). (State Dept./Ron Przysucha)

Egyptian Ambassador Yasser Reda and Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer joined Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in the State Department’s Treaty Room on April 30 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the historic 1979 Egypt-Israel peace treaty.

Pompeo called the peace treaty “one of the most impressive diplomatic achievements of the 20th century — and perhaps even the most impressive. This is no understatement.”

Speaking to a group of assembled ambassadors and dignitaries, the two ambassadors expressed gratitude for the decades of peace the treaty has brought and hope for a peaceful future in the Middle East.

The hope that was realized 40 years ago should also give us new hope today,” said Dermer.

“This endeavor proved peace is possible in the Middle East,” Reda said.

Anwar Sadat, Jimmy Carter and Menachem Begin smiling and clasping hands (© AP Images)
Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, U.S. President Jimmy Carter and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin (left to right) clasp hands as they complete the signing of the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel in 1979. (© AP Images)

The peace treaty, signed by Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin at the White House, ended the 30-year state of war between the Middle East neighbors.

The treaty brought to fruition the 1978 Camp David Accords, signed after President Jimmy Carter brought Sadat and Begin to the presidential retreat in Maryland’s Catoctin Mountains and served as the go-between for a 13-day summit.

Sadat and Begin were awarded the 1978 Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts.

The treaty is “a shining example of the possibilities that can result from dialogue, compromise and cooperation,” Pompeo said.

At the end of the event, Ambassador Reda invoked President Sadat’s historic words on the floor of the Israeli Knesset following the peace treaty: “When the bells of peace ring, there will be no hands to beat the drums of war.”