Obama: Egypt-Israel Accord Shows Peace Is Always Possible

U.S. president says 30th anniversary of peace deal shows sustained efforts bring results.

U.S President Barack Obama said Thursday that the 30th anniversary of the peace accord between Egypt and Israel was proof that peace is always possible.

"As we commemorate this historic event, we recall that peace is always possible even in the face of seemingly intractable conflicts," Obama said.

Egypt and Israel signed a peace treaty in Washington, D.C., on March 26, 1979, after four wars between the long-time enemies in which thousands were killed.

"The success of Prime Minister Begin, President Sadat, and President Carter, begun at Camp David, demonstrated that progress results from sustained efforts at communication and cooperation," Obama said.

"While much work remains, we honor the courage and foresight of these leaders, who stood together in unity to change the course of our shared history. Today, as we seek to expand the circle of peace among Arabs and Israelis, we take inspiration from what Israel and Egypt achieved three decades ago, knowing that the destination is worthy of the struggle."

Earlier Thursday, President Shimon Peres spoke with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to congratulate him on the 30th anniversary of the signing of the peace treaty.

"I would like to express my deep appreciation for your leadership and your life's work for the sake of peace and stability in the Middle East," Peres told Mubarak. "For many years you stand as a firm rock that will not be moved from the desire for peace by the flowing waters."

Peres told Mubarak that all Israeli leaders hold a deep appreciation toward the Egyptian premier.

"There's no doubt that these 30 years were not perfect, but they are preferable 1,000-fold over continued conflict and war between us," the president said. "I remember well your statements that you are not interested in sacrificing your children and your soldiers for nothing."

President Mubarak responded that he never considered changing Egypt's policy towards peace with Israel. "Whoever seeks war has never felt what true war is," Mubarak said.