Carter visited the heads of state he should rely on to allow a peace agreement. By the end of his first year in office, he had already met with Anwar El Sadat of Egypt, King Hussein of Jordan, Hafez al-Assad of Syria and Yitzhak Rabin of Israel. Despite his support for the Sadat peace initiative, King Hussein refused to participate in the peace talks; Bégin offered little to Jordan, and Hussein also feared that he would isolate Jordan from the Arab world and provoke Syria and the PLO if he participated in the peace talks.  Hafez al-Assad, who was not interested in peace negotiations with Israel, refused to come to the United States and only agreed to meet Carter in Geneva. In exchange for the return of the country from Egypt, Sadat fell asleep in the Arab world. His foreign minister, Mr. Kamel, resigned shortly before the end of the summit in protest and refused to participate in the signing ceremony. Sadat ”was involved in a series of concessions,” Kamel writes years later. ”It ended with his total capitulation and he ended up signing what Israel never thought possible in his wildest dreams.” Three years later, in October 1981, Egyptian army officers assassinated Sadat in Cairo while he was reviewing a military parade. Slowly, they were making progress. Carter said he was prepared to reject the language on the ”ineligibility of the acquisition of territory through war” of the main text of the agreement, while Barak Begin convinced himself to allow a similar language on the basis of UN Security Council Resolution 242 in the preamble.
Nevertheless, the talks threatened to break, not least because Bégin insisted that Israel maintain its settlements in Sinai. ”My right eye will fall, my right hand will fall before I ever accept the dismantling of a single Jewish settlement,” Begin Brzezinski said during an early morning walk. Nor would it accept the freezing of settlements in the West Bank. This was due to the zeal of NATO countries to improve Egypt`s troubled economy, the belief that Egypt should begin to focus more on its own interests than on those of the Arab world, and the hope that an agreement with Israel would catalyze similar agreements between Israel and its other Arab neighbours and help solve the Palestinian problem. Prime Minister Begin`s reaction to Sadat`s initiative, even if sadat or Carter had not hoped, showed a willingness to engage the Egyptian head of state. Like Sadat, Begin saw many reasons why bilateral discussions would be in his country`s best interest.