The Promise of Peace: Economic Cooperation between Egypt and Israel

The Promise of Peace: Economic Cooperation between Egypt and Israel

The Promise of Peace: Economic Cooperation between Egypt and Israel

The Promise of Peace: Economic Cooperation between Egypt and Israel

Excerpt

The peace negotiations between Israel and Egypt initiated by President Sadat's visit to Israel in 1977 constitute one of the great events of the last quarter-century. Though genuine peace is not yet at hand, it is appropriate to begin to examine some of the benefits that might flow from a lasting settlement of Israeli-Egyptian differences. In this staff paper, Henry J. Bruton reviews the problems and opportunities for economic cooperation that a secure peace may offer. He also considers how the United States might contribute to fostering such cooperation.

Suitable forms of cooperation between Egypt and Israel are not easy to discern because the two countries had never dealt with each other before President Sadat's visit to Israel in 1977. It is thus not possible to seek to restore or build from what once was. The problem is to find ways of beginning and nurturing cooperation.

Although the two economies differ greatly, they are similar in at least two important respects: both face economic problems of roughly the same kinds, and both have roughly the same opportunities for increasing economic welfare. From this Bruton infers that it is around the search for ways to meet these problems and to realize these opportunities that cooperation can evolve. He argues that direct cooperation between the two countries is needed more than aid programs, and he believes it important to try to establish strong informal links between small-scale industrial and agricultural entrepreneurs and workers in the two countries. Such links-- resulting from visits, seminars, and so on--avoid some of the position- taking that often impedes the formal pursuit of cooperative goals by . . .

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