Sharm Al-Shaykh Summits
SHARM AL-SHAYKH SUMMITS
Situated south of the Sinai Peninsula, in Egypt, Sharm al-Shaykh has hosted several international meetings in the framework of the Israeli-Arab peace process. From 13 to 16 March 1996, under the sponsorship of U.S. president Bill Clinton, an international meeting on terrorism took place there, presented as the "summit of the peacemakers." Concerned by the terrorism unleashed against Israeli urban populations in early 1996—which, together with the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin in November 1995, had dangerously shaken the peace process—the twenty-nine leaders attending this summit, of which some twenty were heads of governments, were determined to formulate a common strategy in the struggle against terrorism. Following this meeting President Clinton went to Israel, where he finalized the U.S. Israeli accord on Islamic terrorism, providing for aid to Israel in the amount of 100 million dollars. To implement the resolutions made at this summit, a conference was organized at Washington for the following 30 March.
From 16 to 18 October 2000, a new summit was held at Sharm al-Sheikh eighteen days after the outbreak of the al-Aqsa Intifada in the Palestinian territories. In addition to Yasir Arafat and Ehud Barak, U.S. President Clinton, King Abdallah II of Jordan, European Union representative Javier Solana, UN secretary general Kofi Annan, and Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak attended this meeting. No accord was signed between the parties. Ehud Barak and Yasir Arafat committed themselves publicly to call for an end to the violence, to take concrete measures to end the current confrontations, and to prevent the recurrence of the recent events. The United States agreed, with the concurrence of the UN, to set up a fact-finding committee on the events of the preceding few weeks, a step that led to the Mitchell Report. On the following 27 December, a meeting between Yasir Arafat and Ehud Barak, scheduled to take place the next day at Sharm al-Sheikh, had to be canceled because of opposition that was mounting in both camps against the Clinton Plan known as "parameters for peace."