NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN (ALMOST)
5th June, 1975 : Eight years to the day after Egypt’s crushing defeat by Israel, the Suez Canal reopened today for international maritime traffic. Ships’ sirens sounded and thousands of Egyptians cheered at the ceremony in Port Said. Anwar Sadat, who succeeded Gamal Abdul Nasser as Egyptian President in 1970, said the opening of the canal was a gesture of peace; he also pledged to “liberate” the Sinai Peninsula, which Israeli forces conquered in 1967. Unofficially, however, Sadat is said to have told the American President, Gerald Ford, that he is willing to negotiate with Israel on the future of Sinai and to discuss a peace treaty between the two countries, even though all Arab States have in past refused to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist.
[ A peace treaty with Israel was signed in March 1979 and thus in October 1981 Sadat was assassinated by a peaceful Muslim.]