Jimmy Carter

CarterMeanwhile, President Carter used the interim to determine if peace negotiations could be achieved. He conducted a domestic summit by inviting a variety of experienced people to join him at the camp. Before it ended, more than 130 prominent American leaders were meeting with the president at the Catoctin site and expressing their opinions. They ranged from members of Congress, corporation and business leaders, union heads, economists, energy experts, political advisers and veteran news columnists and reporters.

“It (Camp David) had not been designed to accommodate so many people, especially when they came from three different nations and represented three distinct cultures.  Sadat, Begin and I had private cabins within a stone’s throw of each other.  None of the other cottages were more than a few hundred yards from us and all of them were packed to the limit with people,” Carter said.

As the days passed, the two delegations found “the close proximity of the living quarters engendered an atmosphere of both isolation and intimacy conducive to easing the tension and encouraging informality,” Carter noted.

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