Ceremony to Mark 20 Years since Signing of Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty

(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman)
11 March 1999

A ceremony took place to mark the 20th anniversary of the signing of the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt took place today (Thursday) 11.3.99, in the Forest of International Cooperation, outside Modi’in.

Foreign Ministry Director-General Eytan Bentsur spoke at the ceremony. Greetings were also read from Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon, Egyptian Ambassador Mohammed Bassiouny, U.S. Ambassador to Israel Edward Walker, and Chairman of the Jewish National Fund, Shlomo Gravitz. Egyptian Undersecretary of State for Afforestation Dr. Mamdouh Riadh was also present.

In his message, Foreign Minister Sharon stressed that at the time that the tender buds of peace between Israel and Egypt were planted, the regional situation was extremely problematic, but the determination of Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat overcame all the difficulties. Our joint obligation is the broadening and strengthening of the peace between the two countries, so that our children will be able to join hands in bringing peace and prosperity to the region.

Eytan Bentsur, in his address, said that the vision and the victory of Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat opened the way for peace in the Middle East, and the fact that Egyptian students are currently completing a course in agriculture in Israel, and that all participants in the ceremony will plant trees in the peace forest is the best proof for the real significance of peace: no more war, and no more bloodshed.

After the speeches, certificates of graduation were presented to the Egyptian participants in the four week course on hot-houses, organised by the Foreign Ministry Center for International Cooperation, MASHAV. The certificates were presented by Chaim Divon, Deputy Director-General of the Center, and by the Dutch and Danish ambassadors, whose countries financed the project.

Singer Zehava Ben performed a variety of songs by Egyptian singer Um Kulthoum at the ceremony, as well as a rendition of the Israeli song "Machar."

At the close of the ceremony, the participants, including students on a variety of courses run by the Center for International Cooperation, from many diffrerent countries, planted trees in the peace forest.