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Signing the Camp David peace accord
The use of American presidential influence to settle international disputes has become a significant responsibility. In 1978 President Jimmy Carter hosted peace talks between Prime Minister Menahem Begin of Israel and President Anwar Sadat of Egypt. After almost two weeks of negotiations, the three leaders signed a peace accord on September 17, 1978, ending the state of war that had existed between Israel and Egypt since 1948.

Courtesy of Jimmy Carter Library

 Camp David meeting
Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, President Jimmy Carter, and Israeli Prime Minister Menahem Begin meet on the Aspen Cabin patio at Camp David, Maryland, September 6, 1978.

Courtesy of Jimmy Carter Library

 Richard M. Nixon in China
President Nixon hoped that his administration could ease the strained relations and cold war tensions between the superpowers. Adopting a policy of détente, in 1972 he became the first American president to go to the Soviet Union. That same year, he made his historic visit to China, paving the way for restoration of diplomatic relations after a twenty-five-year break. Here, Nixon is shown on a return visit to China in 1979.

Courtesy of the Nixon Library and Birthplace

 Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev
In the 1980s, the pressure from an increase in U.S. military spending and the change in leadership in the Soviet Union led to a new era of diplomatic relations between the two nations.

After a series of meetings, Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev signed an Intermediate Nuclear Force Treaty on December 8, 1987. It promised to eliminate an entire class of intermediate-range nuclear missiles and was the first arms-control agreement to reduce the nuclear arsenal. The success of the negotiations marked a beginning to the end of the cold war.

Following the treaty signing, President and Nancy Reagan held a White House state dinner for Mikhail and Raisa Gorbachev.

Courtesy of Ronald Reagan Library

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