President Bill Clinton watched as Jordan became the second Arab country to normalise relations with Israel.
The treaty, agreed 46 years after the state of Israel was declared, came 15 years after the Camp David Accords and Egypt’s recognition of the Jewish state. Also in 1994, Shimon Peres, Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize "for their efforts to create peace in the Middle East".
Signed by King Hussein of Jordan and Israel’s prime minister, Yitzhak Rabin, the Israel-Jordan treaty had been several years in the making. Its conditions included the installation of diplomats in each country, trade cooperation and agreements on land control, water sources and other key disputes.
Mr Rabin told the crowd: “For nearly two generations, desolation pervaded the heart of our two peoples. King Hussein added: “G-d willing…there will be no more death, no more misery, no more suspicion, no more fear, no more uncertainty of what each day might bring.”
President Clinton said at the ceremony, held in the Arava desert: “This vast bleak desert hides great signs of life.
“Today we see the proof of it, for peace between Jordan and Israel is no longer a mirage. It is real. It will take root in this soil. It will grow to great heights and shelter generations to come.”
Representatives from other Arab or other Muslim countries, including Tunisia, Malaysia and Mauritania, also attended the ceremony. Meanwhile, Lebanese extremists greeted the signing by firing mortar bombs across Israel’s northern border.
What the JC said: Israel and Jordan sealed this week what is likely to prove the warmest peace in the Middle East. In a symbol reminiscent of the biblical “swords into plowshares” prophesy of Isaiah, Israeli and Jordanian artillerymen fired canons not at one another, but together, in a 21-gun salute, as the anthems of Israel, Jordan and the US were played….Both the Jordanian monarch and the Israeli Premier know that their peace, must, as King Hussein put it, not simply be a piece of paper. It must be real.
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