Campbell, John C.
December 1978
Foreign Affairs;1978 Special Issue, Vol. 57 Issue 3
This article discusses the Middle East crisis in 1978 and the active role played by U.S. President Jimmy Carter's Administration in the field of diplomacy to root out the crisis. Throughout 1978 the Middle East was at or near the top of the Carter Administration's foreign policy agenda. As the year began, it was clear that both Israel and Egypt would need mediation and help to reach the promised land of peace and that the United States, the old friend of Israel and new friend of Egypt, was admirably placed to escort them there. The importance Washington ascribed to an Arab-Israeli settlement was based on the conviction that the United States needs stability in the Middle East in order to avoid a new round of war that could be worse than that of 1973, to build up solid relations with the oil producers of the Persian Gulf ensuring access to oil at bearable prices, and to close off opportunities for the Soviets to establish military or political positions damaging to Western interests. Stability in the Persian Gulf region and access to its oil were of the highest importance from the standpoint of the global balance with the Soviet Union and from that of the economic well-being of the West. Further the article mentions the Palestinian problem.


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