United States President Jimmy Carter had returned to Washington after his peace mission to the Middle East.
LV & GV mass crowds applauding as U.S. President Jimmy Carter and wife Rosalyn walk down steps of aircraft and are greeted by officials (THREE SHOTS)
CU Carter speaking to crowd and crow applauding (FOUR SHOTS)
SV Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin leaves cabinet meeting and walks towards microphone
CU Begin speaking in English and leaving
CARTER: "You are looking at a tired, but a grateful man. As you know, we did not go to Egypt and to Israel in order to confirm what was already a guaranteed result. We went there to use our influence and our good offices to help the leaders of those two great nations to move decisively towards that peace that is so ardently desired by the people whom they serve. There were risks involved, they were pointed out to me by many people. Political risks to me as President, therefore perhaps a risk even to the prestige of the United States. Fortunately our work has had a happy result. But I would stress that the effort would have been worth making regardless of the outcome of this trip."
BEGIN: "The two last outstanding issues were resolved today by a positive decision of the cabinet. The President was very glad to receive the information. Thank you."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: United States President Jimmy Carter had returned to Washington after his peace mission to the Middle East. His trip has been described as one of the most startling and swiftly executed diplomatic initiatives in years, but has not passed without criticism. Observers have commented that the President started his mission without being sure of a positive outcome and that in doing this he put not only his own political career at risk, but also the prestige of the United States. However after a week of hard diplomatic bargaining he has brought Israel and Egypt to the verge of signing a peace treaty, after thirty years of hostility.
SYNOPSIS: About four thousand people, including members of Congress and diplomats, were at Andrews Air Force Base to greet the President and his wife Rosalyn on Wednesday (14 March). As they stepped down from the plane they were given a tumultuous welcome.
Speaking at the airport, President Carter referred to criticisms of his peace mission and also mentioned the risks he faced at the start of his trip.
Meanwhile in Jerusalem Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin confirmed his cabinet's acceptance of the proposals.