Question of Palestine home
Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR)
1 September 1991
OF THE ARAB-ISRAELI CONFLICT
AND THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE
Issue 5 - August 1991
New York, September 1991
- i -
INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ii
Statement by Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir
on the peace process, Jerusalem, 1 August 1991 . . . . . . . . . . . 1
PLO conditions for the International Peace Conference
on the Middle East, Tunis, 2 August 1991 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Comments by King Hussein of Jordan regarding Palestinian
representation at the proposed conference, Amman, 2 August 1991. . . 2
Points agreed upon by Israel and the United States
on the question of the proposed conference,
Tel Aviv, 4 August 1991. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
- ii -
In April 1991, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People requested that the Division for Palestinian Rights of the United Nations Secretariat prepare urgently and update regularly, for the use of the Committee members and observers, a compilation of relevant recent statements, declarations and proposals regarding the settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict, including the question of Palestine and the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East. The first issue of the compilation, prepared in response to the decision of the Committee, appeared the same month.
Note should be made that reproduced herein are only those parts of the statements, declarations, proposals and initiatives, quoted or summarized, which relate to the Arab-Israeli conflict and the question of Palestine.
Statement by Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir on the peace process
Jerusalem, 1 August 1991
After his talks with Mr. James Baker, United States Secretary of State, on 1 August 1991 in Jerusalem, Israeli Prime Minister Mr. Yitzhak Shamir made the following statement:
"Ladies and gentlemen: It is the sixth visit of the Secretary of State here in Jerusalem since we are dealing with the efforts for the peace process. Today, we had a very serious conversation and discussion about the various remaining issues of this process, and I would like to say something in conclusion of this discussion. Since its establishment, Israel has sought peace with its neighbours. We have therefore expressed our readiness to enter peace negotiations in accordance with the US proposal, subject to a satisfactory solution of the issue of Palestinian Arab representation in the Jordanian-Palestinian delegation, and I will recommend to our cabinet to approve the proposal."
PLO conditions for the International Peace Conference on the Middle East
Tunis, 2 August 1991
A statement circulated on 2 August 1991 in Tunis by WAFA (Palestinian News Agency) contained the following guarantees and conditions of the PLO which could secure the holding of the conference and the success of the peace process:
"1. A guarantee that the aim of the conference will be the implementation of UN Security Council resolutions 242 and 338, which provide for ending the Israeli occupation and stipulate the Israeli withdrawal from all Arab land occupied in 1967, including Arab land occupied in 1967 and Jerusalem;
"2. A recognition of the legitimate and national rights of the Palestinian people, foremost of which is its right to self-determination;
"3. The Palestinian participation at the conference will be in accordance with the decision of the PLO, while rejecting any external interference in this connection;
"4. A rejection of the exclusion of Jerusalem as an issue and representation during any stage of the peace process;
"5. An immediate halt to Israeli settlement activities inside the entire occupied territories, especially Jerusalem."
Comments by King Hussein of Jordan regarding
Palestinian representation, at the proposed conference
Amman, 2 August 1991
On 2 August 1991, in a news conference by King Hussein and Mr. James Baker, United States Secretary of State, held at Amman, King Hussein said the following regarding Palestinian representation at the proposed conference:
"I believe that that particular area is a very, very important area which we have been trying to address to the best of our abilities, and as far as Jordan's position is concerned, it is very, very clear, as I believe it is the view of our friends that the time has come hopefully for the Palestinians to decide in view of all the circumstances and the opportunity that the moment presents on their participation in efforts for a comprehensive settlement. And obviously the Palestinian-Israeli dimension of the problem is the basic element that is to be addressed. Again our position has very clearly defined itself in that we cannot, nor can anyone, represent the Palestinians. Palestinians will have to be themselves responsible for their own representation. We have spoken of the umbrella that we are willing to provide once they approach us for that to happen. And we are in constant dialogue with our Palestinian brethren on a very large scale and in many different directions. And I hope that we will make progress.
"May I add, if I may, I think that there is a slight confusion, and it's not very very clear in my mind how we will be able to put it together. But I agree with the Secretary on all Palestinian issues. With regard to Israel there will have to be a Palestinian delegation representing the Palestinians regarding these issues."
Points agreed upon by Israel and the United States
on the question of the proposed conference
Tel Aviv, 2 August 1991
On 2 August 1991, at the bureau of the Prime Minister of Israel at Tel Aviv, a meeting took place between the United States and Israeli teams aimed at drafting a memorandum of understanding between the two States. According to "Ma'ariv", dated 4 August 1991, the following ten points were agreed upon during the meeting:
"1. The Palestinian representatives in the joint delegation with Jordan to the regional conference will be registered in the Judea, Samaria, and Gaza population register (and will not come from Jerusalem or the diaspora); they will accept the principle of two-track negotiations between Israel and the Arab countries and between Israel and Jordan and the Palestinians; they will accept the procedures of negotiations in stages - self-rule first, permanent arrangements later - and they will declare their commitment to live in peace with Israel.
"2. The United States and the USSR understand that no side -Israel included - will have to negotiate with anyone it cannot sit with (a sort of veto, allowing Israel to oppose PLO representatives).
"3. The bilateral negotiations between Israel and each of the Arab delegations will be direct and held in the absence of foreign mediators. The negotiations will start, at the latest, two days after the conference opens and will be held in bilateral teams: Israel-Syria; Israel-Lebanon; Israel-Jordan and the Palestinians.
"4. Representatives to the conference will be on the ministerial level.
"5. Two weeks from the day the conference starts, multilateral talks will begin dealing with regional issues such as arms supervision, water, the economy, and agriculture. Apart from the countries engaged in the bilateral negotiations, this forum will include Egypt and representatives of the Gulf States.
"6. The participation of representatives of the superpowers, Egypt, the EC, and the United Nations will be limited to the opening of the conference. Reconvening this forum will be subject to the agreement of all sides, including Israel.
"7. The UN representative will have no authority. He may hold talks only in the hallways, note down the content of the talks, and report to the Secretary-General.
"8. The United States reaffirms [hozeret ume'asheret] its commitment to support Israel's demand to satisfy its security needs on the Golan Heights, in accordance with the letter President Ford sent former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1975 following the disengagement arrangements mediated by Kissinger.
"9. The United States readopts [me'ametzet mehadash] its commitment not to hold a dialogue with the PLO as long as the organization does not prove it has changed its character.
"10. The United States ratifies [me'ashreret] all its previous commitments to satisfy Israel's security needs in the framework of territorial arrangements in the region.
"This memorandum of understanding will include as an addendum the Israel-US memorandum of understanding, 1983 in which the United States pledged that Israel will not be required to withdraw from south Lebanon as long as all foreign forces - including Syria and the PLO - have not evacuated the country. The United States is also required to make a commitment that the UN Security Council will not convene to discuss the [Middle East] conflict during negotiations; that the negotiations are not supposed to lead to the establishment of a Palestinian State; and that the United States does not intend to issue a call for a return to the 1967 borders or for only cosmetic changes in these borders."
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1. Foreign Broadcast Information Service,
Daily Report: Near East and South Asia
, No. FBIS-NES-91-149, 2 August 1991, p. 27.
., No. FBIS-NES-91-112, 5 August 1991, pp. 11.
., pp. 47-48.
., pp. 44-45.