Mideast timeline: 1979-2002


Following President Carter's mediation, Israel and Egypt sign the landmark Camp David peace accords, which set a precedent for land-for-peace deals. Israel agrees to return the Sinai Peninsula, and the two sides establish diplomatic ties.


President Reagan withdraws troops from Lebanon, months after trucks packed with explosives rammed into the US Marine barracks there and killed more than 240 US servicemen.


The Palestinian intifada, or uprising, begins against the Israeli presence in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The elder President Bush undertakes the Gulf War, which turns back Iraq's invasion of neighboring Kuwait.

Bush also convenes the Madrid talks. Palestinian and Israeli negotiators sit at the same table for the first time.


President Clinton brings together Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin at the White House to announce the Oslo agreement, which provides an interim framework for autonomy in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.


Warren Christopher visits Arafat and the Palestinian National Council – the first of more than a dozen trips by US secretaries of State.

Jordan and Israel sign a peace treaty calling for close economic and political cooperation.


Rabin is assassinated by an ultranationalist Israeli opposed to Rabin's land-for-peace deals with the Palestinians.


Clinton convenes talks at Wye Plantation, Md., and persuades hard-line Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to allow direct US involvement in security negotiations.

Clinton addresses the Palestinian Authority.


Israel-Syria peace talks are launched at the highest-ever level when Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak meets Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk al-Sharaa in Washington. But the talks collapse a month later.


Clinton convenes intensive talks at Camp David. Although Israelis and Palestinians appear to make some progress toward a final peace accord, the negotiations ultimately collapse.

Before his election as Israeli prime minister, Ariel Sharon visits Jerusalem's holiest and most disputed site: what Jews call the Temple Mount and Palestinians know as Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary). A second Palestinian intifada quickly follows.


Six days of intense peace talks in Taba, Egypt – which by some accounts came closer than ever before to a final peace deal – end without an agreement. Barak had hoped to present the deal for a special election, in which Sharon ends up defeating Barak by a wide margin.

An international commission headed by former Sen. George Mitchell submits a report calling for an end to violence, a cooling-off period, and a resumption of peace talks. Both sides accept the report, but with different interpretations.

CIA Director George Tenet spends days shuttling between Israelis and Palestinians, ultimately devising a detailed procedure for implementing the Mitchell plan. But the effort stalls as tension and violence mount.

During the year, President Bush is host three times to Sharon, but he won't meet Arafat. Still, Bush speaks of a "state of Palestine," the first US president to do so.


Secretary of State Colin Powell concludes a 10-day trip to the Middle East without securing his main objective: a cease-fire.

Source: Associated Press

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