Egyptian and Israeli military commanders signed the six-point ceasefire agreement at Israeli-held checkpoint 101 on the Cairo-Suez Road on Sunday (November 11).
Egyptian and Israeli military commanders signed the six-point ceasefire agreement at Israeli-held checkpoint 101 on the Cairo-Suez Road on Sunday (November 11). It was the first time in 24 years that an Arab country had put its name to a document with Israel. The last agreement was the 1949 Armistice that ended the first Arab-Israeli war.
Major-General Aharon Yariv, 53, who signed for Israel, said "with the signing of this agreement, we have taken a step closer to peace." Egypt was represented by Major-General Mohamed Abdej Ghany Al-Gamazi. Both smiled as they entered a tent, to face each other across a u-shaped table covered by army blankets.
The agreement calls for scrupulous observance of the ceasefire; immediate discussions to settle the front lines; unlimited supplies of food, water and medicine for Suez City and the East Bank; replacement of Israeli checkpoints by U.N. checkpoints; the exchange of all prisoners as soon as the U.N. has taken over all checkpoints on the Cairo-Suez road.
The signing delegations included six Israelis and four Egyptians. General Ensio Siilasvuo, Commander of the United Nations peacekeeping force, supervised the ceremony, sitting at the head of the table.
The agreement was a triumph of negotiation for United States Secretary of State, Dr. Henry Kissinger, who bridged the immense gap in lightening visits to the Egyptian and Israeli capitals. Although the six points did not mention the Egyptian blockade at the entrance to the Red Sea, it was believed that Egypt had agreed to end it.
The only negative comment in a generally optimistic view of the historic agreement came from Egypt's leading political commentator, Mohamed Heykal. Writing in the authoritative newspaper Al Ahram, he commented that "Middle East peace was still far away" and warned that he expected Israeli manoeuvring, stalling for time "and all kinds of surprises."
SYNOPSIS: Troops waited expectantly at Israeli checkpoint 101 on the Cairo-Suez road as Egyptian and Israeli delegations arrived to sign a six-point ceasefire agreement -- the first document in twenty-four years to be signed by Israel and an Arab country.
The agreement was a triumph of negotiation by U.S. Secretary of State. Dr. Henry Kissinger
Both parties emphasised that, although a remarkable breakthrough, it was only a first step to peace.
General Al-Camazi signed for Egypt and General Yariv, for Israel. The U.N. Commander, General Siilasvuo presided. The agreement calls for strict observance of the ceasefire; immediate discussions to settle front lines, unlimited supplies to Suez City and the East Bank, replacement of Israeli by U.N. checkpoints, and an exchange of all prisoners as soon as the checkpoints on the Ciaro-Suez road are under U.N control.