At the center of 30 years of peace between Egypt and Israel is the text of the Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty of March 26, 1979, which governs the conditions of peace and the relationship between the former adversaries.
Although much of the treaty focused on immediate concerns such as ending the state of war between the two countries and the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Sinai within three years of the treaty’s date, other articles govern facets of relations that continue to this day.
The treaty ensures the right of free passage for Israeli ships through the Suez Canal under Article V as well as non-Israeli ships going to and from Israel. It also stipulates that the Gulf of Aqaba be considered an international waterway with both parties’ right to navigation and over-flight.
The annex to Article III governs security arrangements in the zones along the border and the level of military or police involvement in each zone, whether aerially, by sea or on the ground. Additionally, a UN force would be permanently present at the border in the Interim Buffer Zone.
Annex III to Article I indicates that the parties “agree to establish diplomatic and consular relations and to exchange ambassadors upon completion of the interim withdrawal.
In further articles, the parties agree to “remove all discriminatory barriers to normal economic relations and to terminate economic boycotts of each other, as well as “establish normal cultural relations following completion of the interim withdrawal.
Freedom of movement for citizens between the two countries is also stipulated in the treaty.
Under the annex for Article VII, the parties “affirm their commitment to respect and observe human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, and they will promote these rights and freedoms in accordance with the United Nations Charter.
The treaty is also considered by the two parties to be the initial framework on which further peace treaties between Israel and other Arab countries are to be based. As stated in the Preamble, “the aforementioned Framework as appropriate is intended to constitute a basis for peace not only between Egypt and Israel but also between Israel and each of its other Arab neighbors which is prepared to negotiate peace with it on this basis.
It calls on other Arab parties “to join the peace process with Israel guided by and based on the principles of the aforementioned Framework.