Question of Palestine home
Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR)
17 January 1994
OF THE ARAB-ISRAELI CONFLICT
AND THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE
Issue 25 · June - December 1993
New York, March 1994
Since April 1991, at the request of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, the Division for Palestinian Rights of the United Nations Secretariat has prepared, for the use of the Committee members and observers, a compilation of statements, declarations, documents or other material pertaining to the settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict and the question of Palestine. Also, since October 1991, special attention has been given to the information relating to the Middle East peace process.
The present issue covers the period from June to December 1993.
- i -
Text of statement issued at the coordination meeting of the Arab parties to the peace process, Amman, 6-7 June 1993
Text of "ten points" presented to the United States by the Palestinian delegation following the ninth round of bilateral negotiations, Washington, D.C., June 1993
Text of United States draft Israeli-Palestinian declaration of principles, Washington, D.C., 30 June 1993
Text of a Palestinian paper presented to the United States Secretary of State, Jerusalem, 5 August 1993
Text of speech of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin before the Knesset, Jerusalem, 30 August 1993
Text of speech of the Foreign Minister of Israel before the Knesset, Jerusalem, 30 August 1993
Text of statement by the Spokesman for the Secretary-General of the United Nations on the draft Israeli-Palestinian agreement, United Nations Headquarters, 1 September 1993
Text of statement by the Spokesman for the Secretary-General of the United Nations on the establishment of a high-level task force on economic and social development of the Gaza Strip and Jericho, United Nations Headquarters, 9 September 1993
Text of statement by the media adviser to the Israeli Prime Minister on the exchange of documents of mutual recognition by Israel and the PLO, Jerusalem, 9 September 1993
Texts of letters of mutual recognition by Israel and the PLO, 9 September 1993
Chairman Arafat to Prime Minister Rabin
Prime Minister Rabin to Chairman Arafat
Chairman Arafat to Foreign Minister Holst
Text of statement by President Clinton, Washington, D.C., 10 September 1993
Text of statement by the Foreign Minister of Norway, Johan Jorgen Holst, Jerusalem, 10 September 1993
Text of statement of the Executive Committee of the PLO on the Israeli-PLO Declaration of Principles, Tunis, 12 September 1993
Text of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements, including Annexes and Agreed Minutes, Washington, D.C., 13 September 1993
Ceremony for signing of the Declaration of Principles, Washington, D.C., 13 September 1993
Foreign Minister Shimon Peres
PLO Executive Committee member Mahmud Abbas
Secretary of State Warren Christopher
Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev
Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin
Chairman of the Executive Committee of the PLO Yasser Arafat
White House briefing for Arab- and Jewish-American leaders following the signing of the Declaration of Principles, Washington, D.C., 13 September 1993
Vice-President Al Gore
Text of the "Common Agenda between Israel and Jordan" [Jordan and Israel], Washington, D.C., 14 September 1993
Ceremony for initialling the "Common Agenda", Washington, D.C., 14 September 1993
Secretary of State Warren Christopher
Address by the United States Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs before the Arab-American Business and Professional Association, Washington, D.C., 16 September 1993
Statement by Prime Minister Rabin before the Knesset, Jerusalem, 21 September 1993
Address of the United States Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy on the question of the multilateral negotiations, Washington, D.C., 22 September 1993
Conference to Support Middle East Peace, Washington, D.C., 1 October 1993
Vice-President Al Gore
Secretary of State Warren Christopher
Minister of Finance of the Russian Federation, Boris Fyodorov
World Bank President Lewis T. Preston
Secretary of the Treasury Lloyd Bentsen
PLO Executive Committee member Yasser Abed Rabbo
Foreign Minister Shimon Peres
Commissioner Hans van den Broek, Commission of the European Communities
Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme, James Gustave Speth
Secretary of State Warren Christopher
Foreign Minister Willy Claes
Opening statements at a news conference following the Conference to Support Middle East Peace, Washington, D.C., 1 October 1993
Secretary of State Warren Christopher
Secretary of the Treasury Lloyd Bentsen
Remarks by President Clinton, Crown Prince Hassan of Jordan, and Israeli Foreign Minister Peres following a meeting at the White House, Washington, D.C., 1 October 1993
Crown Prince Hassan
Foreign Minister Peres
Text of statement by Foreign Minister Shimon Peres before the Knesset, Jerusalem, 11 October 1993
Statement by the United States Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Washington, D.C., 15 October 1993
Remarks by King Hussein on the issue of Jerusalem, Amman, 17 October 1993
Text of decision by the Executive Committee of the PLO to establish the Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Construction, Tunis, 4 November 1993
Extracts from an address by King Hussein before the Parliament,
Amman, 23 November 1993
Address by the United States Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs before the Los Angeles World Affairs Council, Los Angeles, 30 November 1993
Remarks by the United States Secretary of State following a meeting with President Hafez al-Assad, Damascus, 5 December 1993
Remarks at a news conference by the United States Secretary of State and the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the PLO, Amman, 6 December 1993
Secretary of State Warren Christopher
Chairman of the Executive Committee of the PLO, Yasser Arafat
Remarks at a news conference by the Foreign Minister of the Syrian Arab Republic and the United States Secretary of State, Damascus, 9 December 1993
Foreign Minister Farouk al-Sharaa
Secretary of State Warren Christopher
Documents and statements on relations between the Holy See and the State of Israel, 29 and 30 December 1993
Joint communiqué on Holy See-Israel relations, Vatican City, 29 December 1993
Fundamental Agreement between the Holy See and the State of Israel, Jerusalem, 30 December 1993
Additional Protocol, Jerusalem, 30 December 1993
Statement by the Head of the Holy See delegation, Monsignor Claudio Maria Celli, after the signing of the Fundamental Agreement, Jerusalem, 30 December 1993
Statement by the Holy See Press Office Director,
Mr. Joaquin Navarro-Valls, Vatican City, 30 December 1993
Text of statement issued at the coordination meeting of the Arab parties
to the peace process, Amman, 6-7 June 1993
On 7 June 1993, at Amman, the following statement was issued at the conclusion of the coordination meeting of the Arab parties to the peace process:
"At the invitation of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Foreign Ministers of the Arab States participating in the bilateral peace talks - the Syrian Arab Republic, Palestine, the Republic of Lebanon [the Lebanese Republic], and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan - held a meeting in Amman on 6 June 1993. The Foreign Minister of the [Arab] Republic of Egypt also took part in the meeting, which is part of ongoing coordination and consultation among the ministers. Several heads and members of the Arab delegations to the bilateral peace talks also took part in the meeting.
"The meeting mainly addressed the ninth round of the bilateral negotiations, held from 30 April to 13 May 1993, in light of intensive contacts and consultations with the co-sponsors of the conference, in order to eliminate the obstacles that obstructed the convening of the round as a result of the failure to make real progress in the previous rounds and Israel's noncompliance with [(Security Council)] resolution 799 [(1992)], which stipulates the immediate return of the deportees.
"The Ministers noted that despite the assurances given prior to the start of the ninth round, Israel did not abide by its overall commitments to the United States. This casts further doubts on the extent of Israel's seriousness and obliges the co-sponsors of the conference to ensure that all parties adhere to the bases of the peace process.
"While welcoming the United States' announcement about its plan to assume the role of a full partner in the peace process - which could have constituted progress in the United States contribution had the outcome of the previous round risen to the aspirations accompanying the announcement of the convening of the round - the ministers reaffirmed that the United States should undertake a full-partner role to ensure the implementation of the bases, principles, and decisions on which the peace process depends, in line with the principles of international justice and legitimacy.
"The Ministers denounced the Israeli policy of repression against the Palestinian people and Arab citizens in the occupied Palestinian and Arab territories, noting in particular the siege of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the isolation of Holy Jerusalem, the rise in the number of innocent civilian victims, and the continued building of settlements and demolition of homes.
"The Ministers warned of the serious consequences of such practices on the future of the peace process and the situation in the region in general. They held Israel fully responsible for all consequences, calling on the co-sponsors of the peace process to make Israel immediately stop all its human rights violations in the occupied Arab territories and urge it to abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949.
"The Ministers also denounced the continued Israeli attacks on Lebanese territory, noting this would only increase tension in the region.
"In light of this, the Ministers agreed on the following:
"1. To reaffirm abidance by solidarity and coordination among the Arab parties participating in the peace process and their commitment to the attainment of comprehensive and just peace in accordance with the bases of this process and its terms of reference represented by the principle of the return of land in exchange for peace; the full implementation of United Nations Security Council resolutions 242 [(1967)] and 338 [(1973)], including Israel's withdrawal from all the Arab territories that were occupied in 1967, foremost the city of Jerusalem; the recognition of the Palestinian people's legitimate political and national rights on their national soil; United Nations Security Council resolution 425 [(1978)] on Israel's withdrawal from the Lebanese territories to the internationally acknowledged Lebanese borders without any preconditions; and the reaffirmation of the commitment to a comprehensive solution on all fronts and for all parties.
"2. To denounce all the Israeli practices, violations, and attacks in the occupied Palestinian and Arab territories, which are a blatant violation of international law and the bases of the peace process and its terms of reference and actually endanger the chances of success of this process. The continuation of these violations and practices will undermine the entire process, for which Israel will be held responsible before the international community.
"3. To warn against the consequences of Israel's continued avoidance of discussion of basic issues and matters in accordance with the bases and terms of reference of the negotiations and its adoption of methods of procrastination and prevarication through its emphasis on marginal issues.
"4. To call on the United States to exercise the role of a full partner and effectively and objectively develop this role in a manner that will secure full and faithful abidance by the bases and principles of the peace process, particularly the principle of land in exchange for peace, and the implementation of United Nations Security Council resolutions 242 [(1967)], 338 [(1973)], and 425 [(1978)] in a manner that prevents prevarication or procrastination in implementing these resolutions.
"5. To call on the co-sponsors of the conference and the international community to compel Israel to take the immediate necessary steps and measures to provide the suitable atmosphere for the success of the current negotiations. These are headed by the following:
"- Ending the siege imposed on the occupied Palestinian and Arab territories, including the closure of Holy Jerusalem.
"- Ending the fait accompli policy being pursued by the Israeli Government.
"- Respecting human rights in these territories through the implementation of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949.
"- Implementing United Nations resolution 799 [(1992)].
"- Ending the continued Israeli violations of Lebanon's sovereignty and its territorial integrity.
"6. To work for attaining and bolstering Arab solidarity, given that this is the appropriate framework to defend the legitimate Arab rights, protect the future of the individual in the Arab homeland, and guarantee the success of the current process of negotiations and have it attain its goals.
"7. Proceeding from their serious commitment to the peace process and out of their desire to give a further opportunity for the efforts being made to help this process attain its aspired goal, represented by the establishment of a just and comprehensive peace that puts an end to the Arab-Israeli conflict on the basis of complete withdrawal for complete peace and in reference to the invitation by the co-sponsors of the conference to all parties to participate in the 10th round, the ministers have agreed to intensify contacts with the co-sponsors of the peace process during the remaining time before the beginning of that round, with the aim of securing the co-sponsors' serious intervention to achieve substantial progress in the negotiations.
"8. The ministers agreed to hold the next coordination meeting in Beirut."
Text of "ten points" presented to the United States by the Palestinian delegation
following the ninth round of bilateral negotiations,
Washington, D.C., June 1993
The following is the text of a document presented to the United States by the Palestinian delegation after the ninth bilateral round of negotiations, as reported in
on 13 June 1993:
"A. As you may recall, our discussions before the ninth round focused on substantive issues requiring urgent and effective intervention. We were reassured about your commitment to solving the issues, which constituted serious obstacles to the peace process. These assurances included the lifting of the economic siege imposed on the Palestinian people and their leadership, and addressing the issues of human rights, the closure of Jerusalem and the rest of the occupied territories, detainees, demolition of houses, and the use of live ammunition against the citizens. Moreover, we were promised a more serious Israeli policy toward the substance of the negotiations in a manner conforming with the terms of reference of the peace process as well as its principles and aims. The United States has also pledged to play an effective and constructive role as a full unbiased partner.
"B. Accordingly, the Palestinian leadership, and President Arafat in particular, made the brave and difficult decision to participate [in the talks] despite the painful and difficult circumstances. Having honoured its obligations, the Palestinian leadership expected the United States to reciprocate by implementing certain steps on the above-mentioned issues in order to emphasize its credibility and role.
"C. The ninth round, which we viewed as a test of commitments and promises for the start of a new qualitative stage in negotiations, was a source of intense disappointment. We took the initiative out of good faith to work by the proposal of a joint declaration of principles and the proposal to form working groups. President Arafat has also convinced the Arab parties to extend the negotiations by one week. Nevertheless, we witnessed an escalation in the Israeli repressive measures, something which made a mockery of the entire human rights issue. Even according to Israeli estimates, the month of May 1993 was the bloodiest since the start of negotiations.
"D. In the meantime, promises of a United States role have not materialized although we continued to remind the United States State Department officials of the seriousness of the situation and the need to lift the economic blockade, rescue the institutions, and release the Palestinian funds, reiterating that the situation tolerates no delay. We have constantly stressed the need to lift the siege imposed on Jerusalem and address human rights issues.
"Despite your assurances, the economic siege is continuing. We have not received an expected list of human rights measures. Nothing has been realized except the return of 30 deportees. The processions celebrating their return followed the funeral processions of those who had been killed. Portraying the United States' position as lacking influence is both unrealistic and unreasonable. The United States' credibility and its readiness to work with a sincere intention to fulfil its commitments are now at stake.
"E. The United States' role and the tripartite meeting. The promised United States' role of a full partner was a source of disappointment. The United States' paper demonstrates bias toward Israel in both language and substance and violates the terms of reference and the United States policy itself. The lack of fair dealing was a source of warning to us that the full partner was taking pro-Israeli stands. This also appeared in the issue concerning the information committee on settlements.
"F. We do not understand the continued suspension of the United States-Palestinian dialogue. It was the PLO [Palestine Liberation Organization] that selected and appointed the delegation, gave it the necessary legitimacy to carry out its tasks, and maintained the Palestinian participation in the talks in the face of enormous difficulties. The PLO is making decisions, drawing up policies, and covering the expenses of the delegation. The United States has dealt with these facts indirectly. It is time to begin direct and fair dealing to tackle the problem, which has had a detrimental effect on the peace process and United States-Palestinian relations.
"The United States, as a sponsor and full partner, deals with all the partners in the negotiations except the Palestinian partner. This is unfair, impractical and unconstructive. It is necessary to receive a positive answer from you on the resumption of dialogue in order to serve the peace process.
"G. We hold the United States' role on the practical and substantive levels to be based along the broad lines of the United States policy and in line with the terms of reference of the peace process. In this context, in preparation for the Washington visit and talks, and in the interest of the peace process, we would like to direct the following questions for urgent study and response:
"1. Since you have repeatedly asserted that the overall peace process is based on [(Security Council)] resolutions 242 [(1967)] and 338 [(1973)] and the land-for-peace principle, is there a need to ask if this is applied to the negotiations and their results? Is the implementation of these resolutions not the aim of this process as a means of realizing a just, durable, and comprehensive peace?
"2. Since the allusion in [Security Council] resolution [the Security Council] 242 [(1967)] is to the territories Israel occupied in 1967, is there any need to ask if these territories are really occupied and, consequently, governed by the principle of withdrawal and the Fourth Geneva Convention?
"3. Since the term `occupied territories', as used by the United States, means the West Bank, including Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, is there any reason to dismember and violate the unity of these territories?
"4. Since the United States does not recognize Israel's annexation of Jerusalem, the expansion of the city's municipal area, or any other unilateral measures to change the status of the city, is it not essential that the United States should prevent Israel from implementing such measures, especially the settlements inside and around Jerusalem, imposing a siege on and isolating the city as a means of imposing annexation by a
"5. The United States believes that the Palestinian side has the right to raise any issue, particularly the issue of Jerusalem, at the negotiating table. It also regards Jerusalem as part of the occupied territories. Does the United States still support incorporating the issue of Jerusalem into the transitional phase negotiations, taking into account that the fate of all Jerusalem will be determined in the final phase negotiations? Should East Jerusalem not be part of the transitional self-rule arrangements?
"6. The transitional phase negotiations aim to end occupation and carry out an organized peaceful transfer of power from Israel to the Palestinians. Does this not mean establishing a real self-rule authority with legislative, executive and judicial powers, and not only specific executive tasks?
"7. The transitional phase is a temporary phase required to remove doubts and mistrust and lay the bases for the final phase negotiations in the occupied territories. Does this not constitute a linkage in the substance - in addition to the linkage in timing - which will rule out any moves or agreements that may infringe on the final phase? Is not the transitional phase - as an adaptive phase - clearly a preparation for the permanent situation?
"8. As the transitional phase should not infringe on the permanent situation, does this not mean that all options should remain open, provided that they do not conflict with [Security Council] resolutions 242 [(1967)] and 338 [(1973)] and the land-for-peace principle?
"9. As the settlement activities are not only illegal - according to international and human laws - but also an obstacle to peace and a unilateral action violating the terms of reference of the peace process, how can the United States accept such actions and allow Israel to continue this crime, while knowing that this poses a threat to the entire peace process?
"10. The United States' position still says that the peace process should recognize the Palestinian people's legitimate political rights. What is the United States' definition of these rights?
"H. We would like to reiterate our commitment to the peace process as a real means of resolving conflicts and realizing a just, comprehensive and lasting peace, as well as achieving stability in our region. We also wish to continue the peace process and render it a success by securing respect for its terms of reference and safeguarding its credibility. As part of this commitment, we are considering your invitation to hold talks in Washington. Consequently, we are raising these issues, so that they may receive your consideration and response."
Text of United States draft Israeli-Palestinian declaration of principles,
Washington, D.C., 30 June 1993
On the eve of adjournment of the tenth round of negotiations, on 30 June 1993, at Washington, D.C., the United States Department of State presented, to both sides, an informal working paper containing a draft Israeli-Palestinian declaration of principles. The following is the text of the document:
"The Palestinian and Israeli sides reaffirm their commitment to the peace process launched at Madrid. They seek to negotiate their differences and create a peaceful and just future in which Israel and Palestinians will live side by side, in peace, for generations to come. Towards this end, the two sides will negotiate a declaration of principles to guide the negotiations on interim self-government arrangements. The following principles and/or areas of emerging agreement could be included in the completed Declaration of Principles, subject to agreement on the full Declaration.
"The Goal of the Negotiations
"The two sides agree that the objective of the peace process is to reach a just, lasting and comprehensive peace settlement achieved through direct negotiations based on United Nations Security Council resolutions 242 [(1967)] and 338 [(1973)]. The negotiations between the Israeli and Palestinian sides will be conducted, per the Madrid letter of invitation, in two phases: the first phase of the negotiations is directed toward reaching agreement on Palestinian interim self-government arrangements for a period of five years; and the second phase of the negotiations, beginning the third year of the period of interim self-government arrangements, will be directed toward reaching agreement on permanent status. The two sides concur that the agreement reached between them on permanent status will constitute the implementation of [Security Council] resolutions 242 [(1967)] and 338 [(1973)] in all their aspects.
"The two sides agree that the negotiating process is one and that its two phases are interlocked. They further agree that neither the negotiations nor the agreements reached for the interim period will be deemed to preempt or prejudge the outcome of permanent status negotiations. Furthermore, both sides will make their best efforts to avoid actions during the interim period that undermine the environment for the negotiations. The two sides agree that all options for permanent status within the framework of the agreed basis of the negotiations - United Nations Security Council resolutions 242 [(1967)] and 338 [(1973)] - will remain open. Once negotiations on permanent status begin, each side can raise whatever issue it wants, including the question of Jerusalem.
"The Nature of the Palestinian Elected Authority
"The two sides agree that a Palestinian elected interim self-government authority (whose name will be agreed) will be established through fair, free, general and direct elections. These elections will be held under agreed supervision and with international observers and monitors. Negotiations will take place concerning the modalities and timetable for elections. Once elections modalities are agreed upon by the two sides, East Jerusalem Palestinians will vote in the elections.
"The Palestinian elected authority will have the necessary powers and responsibilities to carry out the authorities transferred to it under the agreement. It will assume executive authority. It will have legislative authority in the areas of responsibility transferred to it, subject to the agreement to be negotiated. There will be independent judicial organs. Legislation in force will be reviewed as appropriate.
"The two sides agree that one of the key goals of the interim period is the transfer of authority to Palestinians. Powers and responsibilities of the Israeli civilian administration will be transferred to the Palestinians as agreed. This process will bring about a fundamental change in the existing situation on the ground and in the relationship between Israelis and Palestinians. An important outcome of this phase will be the empowerment of Palestinians through the establishment of interim self-government arrangements which will give the Palestinians real control over decisions that affect their lives and fate. It should also put an end to the confrontation between Israel and Palestinians and create a new relationship between them of mutual respect, tolerance, peace and reconciliation, in which both sides eschew violence.
"The Israeli and Palestinian sides agree that the security of both sides must be respected and enhanced as a result of the negotiating process. The objective of security arrangements during the interim period is to respond to mutual needs, as well as to create the conditions for real peace. Recognizing Israel's responsibility for its nationals and for overall security of the territories (Hague Regulations of 1907), and recognizing the interim self-government's responsibility concerning Palestinians during the interim period per the agreement to be negotiated, there will be arrangements and mechanisms, particularly related to security, such as police functions, that will enhance mutual security and address the needs of both sides.
"The two sides agree that discussion of the issue of jurisdiction, as it relates to the interim period, starts from the premise that issues related to permanent status are outside the scope of the interim status negotiations. Thus the inclusion or exclusion of specific spheres of authority, geographic areas or categories of persons within the jurisdiction of the interim self-government will not prejudice the positions or claims of either party and will not constitute a basis for asserting, supporting or denying any party's claim to territorial sovereignty in the permanent status negotiations. As such, the issue of jurisdiction over the territories will only be resolved as an outcome of the permanent status negotiations.
"For the interim period, the interim self-government authority will as appropriate exercise its authority, i.e., jurisdiction, in the territories, to the extent necessary to fulfil its responsibilities and as agreed between the Israeli and Palestinian sides.
"The two sides have agreed that the territories are viewed as a single territorial unit. They agree that issues related to sovereignty will be negotiated during talks on permanent status and that negotiations on the land issue during the interim period will take place without prejudice to territorial integrity; that is, the territories will be treated as a whole, even while the two sides negotiate the difficult issues of land ownership, registration, planning, zoning, usage and management.
"Cooperation and Coordination
"The two sides will conclude agreements and establish agreed arrangements for cooperation and coordination in specific areas of mutual and common concern. These areas of cooperation and coordination will take into account the mutual needs of both sides. The two sides will also establish a joint committee to consider and deal with matters of common concern and to resolve outstanding problems that may arise between them.
"The Palestinian and Israeli sides seek early completion of the Declaration of Principles and a full agreement on interim self-government and early empowerment. Toward this end, the two sides will discuss a timetable and mechanisms for elections in the territories. They will also discuss early empowerment, i.e., the early exercise of power by Palestinians, which will change the situation on the ground and the relationship between Israelis and Palestinians. Such early empowerment could cover such issues as economic development, training for a local police force, health, education, welfare, tourism, and labour and budgeting authority in all these areas."
Text of a Palestinian paper presented to the United States Secretary of State,
Jerusalem, 5 August 1993
On 5 August 1993, at Jerusalem, the following document was presented by the Palestinian delegation to the United States Secretary of State Warren Christopher in response to an earlier United States draft Israeli-Palestinian declaration of principles, as reported in
on 8 August 1993:
"The Palestinian and Israeli sides reaffirm their commitment to the peace process launched in Madrid. They seek to negotiate about their differences and create a peaceful and just future in which Israelis and Palestinians will live side by side in peace. The two sides will negotiate a declaration of principles to guide the negotiations on an interim self-government authority.
"The Goal of the Negotiations
"The two sides agree that the objective of the peace process is to reach a just, lasting, and comprehensive peace settlement achieved through direct negotiations based on United Nations Security Council resolutions 242 [(1967)] and 338 [(1973)] and the principle of land for peace.
"These negotiations between the Israeli and Palestinian sides will be conducted, per the Madrid letter of invitation, in two phases. The first phase of the negotiations is to reach an agreement on a Palestinian interim self-government authority. The second phase, which will start no later than the beginning of the third year of the interim self government arrangement, will be directed toward reaching agreement on government status. This agreement will implement [Security Council] resolutions 242 [(1967)] and 338 [(1973)] in all their aspects.
"The two sides agree that the negotiations are one process and that the two phases are interlinked. They also agree that neither the talks nor the agreements reached over the interim period, nor anything in the talks on self-rule, will be a substitute for the outcome of the talks on the final status. Furthermore, both sides will exert every effort to avert any developments before or during the interim period that may harm the climate of the negotiations.
"The two sides agree that all options for the final status - based on the provisions and principles on which the negotiations were launched, that is [Security Council] resolutions 242 [(1967)] and 338 [(1973)] - will remain open. During the negotiations, each party can raise any issue it likes and the agenda for the negotiations on the final status must include the final status of Jerusalem.
"The Nature of the Elected Palestinian Self-Rule Authority
"The two sides agree that the elected Palestinian self-rule government will be formed through free, fair and direct general elections to be held under agreed international supervision in the presence of international supervisors and observers. Negotiations will be held to set the terms and schedule for the elections. Once the two sides reach an agreement on the terms for the elections, the East Jerusalem Palestinians will participate in the elections, as will the Palestinians and their children and grandchildren in the West Bank - including Jerusalem - and the Gaza Strip, which were not under Israeli occupation prior to 4 June 1967.
"The elected Palestinian authority will enjoy the powers and responsibilities necessary for the implementation of the authority devolved to it under the agreement. It will take charge of the executive and legislative powers in the areas where responsibility has been transferred to it. Independent judiciary and legislative bodies will be appointed by the Palestinian interim self-rule authority. Legislation in the areas that have not come under the powers of the interim Palestinian self-rule authority will be appropriately reviewed.
"The two sides agree that one of the objectives of the self-rule period is the transfer of power to Palestinians. The responsibilities of the Israeli civil administration will be transferred to the Palestinians. This process will bring about a fundamental change in the current situation, both on the ground and in the relationship between the Israelis and Palestinians. An important outcome of this phase will be the empowerment of Palestinians through the establishment of a self-rule authority, which will give the Palestinians real control over the decisions affecting their lives and fate. This phase will also lay the groundwork for putting an end to the confrontation between the Israelis and Palestinians and create a relationship of mutual respect based on tolerance, peace and reconciliation in which both sides avoid violence.
"The two sides agree to negotiate over local authority that has to do with the self-rule period, which begins from the first of the issues related to the exercise of sovereignty, outside the framework of the self-rule authority. [
] Hence, if nothing agreed concerning the authority in the interim period prejudicing the outcome of the negotiations over the final status. [
"Both sets of negotiations have the objective of implementing [Security Council] resolutions 242 [(1967)] and 338 [(1973)], as does the self-rule period. The Palestinian interim self-rule authority will have local control over the occupied Palestinian territories that were not under Israeli occupation before 4 June 1967, including Jerusalem. The two sides agree that these territories constitute an integral whole that will retain their unity and integrity during the self-rule under a single legal system.
"The Israeli and Palestinian sides agree that the security of both sides must be respected as a result of the negotiating process. The objective of the security arrangements, during the self-rule period, is to respond to mutual needs, as well as to create the conditions for a genuine peace. There will be arrangement to enforce internal and external security and public order during the self-rule period, taking into consideration the security needs of both sides.
"The Palestinian self-rule authority will set up appropriate security arrangements to maintain internal security and public order through a security force in charge of internal and external security, specifically in relation to bridges and border crossings. Security arrangements should be under the control of the Palestinian self-rule authority, except that which is outside the agreement. The agreement will take into consideration issues related to border crossings and the movement of people and goods.
"The withdrawal of Israeli forces will begin during the self-rule period in line with an agreed time frame. The Israeli Army will withdraw from the populated areas and redeploy in agreed security areas.
"Cooperation and Coordination
"The two sides will finalize agreements and establish arrangements for cooperation and coordination in specific areas of mutual and common concern. The common areas of cooperation and coordination will take into account the needs of both sides. The two sides will establish a joint committee to consider and deal with matters of common concern and to resolve problems that may arise between them. Any problems the two sides fail to resolve bilaterally will be referred to international arbitration or to agreed committees.
"The Palestinian and Israeli sides seek the early completion of the Declaration of Principles and a complete agreement about the interim Palestinian self-rule. Towards this end, the two sides will agree on a timetable and the mechanism for choosing the Palestinian interim self-rule authority.
"The Gaza-Jericho Option
"`The Gaza-Jericho First' option will, as a form of disengagement, create a breakthrough in the negotiations and on the ground. This first step will provide a realistic and workable formula for transferring full power to the Palestinians, in the meantime stressing the unity of the occupied territories that must remain an integrated unit."
Text of speech of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin before the Knesset,
Jerusalem, 30 August 1993
On 30 August 1993, speaking before a special session of the coalition convened in the Knesset to consider the agreement with the PLO, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin made the following statement:
"This meeting was slated to discuss other subjects, but I am glad it is possible to discuss a substantive issue instead. Discuss is not the suitable word here though. I came to brief you only, as the cabinet has not yet made a decision, and it would be improper for me to bring this forum details regarding the possibility of signing an agreement between us and the Palestinian delegation in the framework of the Washington negotiations on the establishment of the interim arrangements. Therefore, I will settle for general comments.
"I will not engage in apologies with the Likud. We have a policy. We have tasks and commitments that made up our platform when we ran in the last Knesset elections. The main mission was to promote the making of peace. We did not create the format of the Madrid peace conference, nor its continuation as reflected in the talks with the Arab delegations in Washington. Still, we introduced real content into a format that stayed above water during the Likud days. We came with our positions, positions which are expressed in the Government's basic guidelines, as to how to advance toward peace with Lebanon, Syria and Jordan, and how to establish the interim arrangement, the autonomy, with the Palestinians in the territories. We undertook and are committed to doing this.
"I have said more than once that the Madrid format is not ideal. But since the State of Israel is committed to this format, we will do our best in the framework of this format. We have said more than once that the key to a breakthrough lies in the negotiations with Syria or in the negotiations with the Palestinians. We want to reach peace with Jordan and we honour the King and his regime. Similarly, we want to reach peace with Lebanon and honour the Government ruling it. Still, it was clear to us that without making progress with Syria, it is doubtful whether we will be able to make progress with Lebanon. Also, without taking a significant step with regard to the Palestinians, it is doubtful whether Jordan would be willing to sign a peace accord with us. Therefore, we focused on these two fronts. I am telling you today that the horizons for peace are open. Progress has been made in the entire Arab arena with regard to readiness for peace. This does not mean that there are no obstacles or difficulties, but I am convinced that the horizons for peace are open. One should distinguish between the two fronts of negotiations, that with the Syrians and that with the Palestinians. With Syria, the negotiations revolve around the establishment of full peace, of signing a peace treaty. As for the Palestinians, reference is to the establishment of the interim arrangement.
"The dialogue between us and the Syrians, whether direct or indirect - via the United States - made it clear to us that Syria is not prepared for full peace, nor according to our conditions yet, without receiving the price that an Israeli Government in the past determined as a precedent in return for peace, and I am referring to the peace with Egypt: namely, a comprehensive withdrawal and the uprooting of any Israeli presence in the area that will be evacuated. How did al-Assad put this in his talks with the Americans? He said: How am I different from the late Egyptian President al-Sadat? I did not say that we accepted his positions. Under the circumstances, after a dialogue with Palestinians who are not residents of the territories, we reached an agreement. Naturally, the test of this agreement - and I believe this will come to pass - will lie in the signing of an accord that will be consolidated in Washington between the existing delegations. The signing of such an accord between the Palestinian delegation and us in Washington will turn into a significant fact: It will make possible the establishment of the interim arrangement.
"What did we insist on? First, this agreement was struck between us and the Palestinians, not conditional on what we will achieve with Lebanon, Syria or Jordan. This is a bilateral agreement. Second, we insisted that Jerusalem would not be included in the framework for the interim arrangements, Jerusalem would not be included in any area where the powers of those who will administer the Palestinian issues in the territories will apply. Jerusalem remains under Israel's sovereignty and is Israel's unified capital. The settlements remain. There is no uprooting of settlements. We will not repeat this, neither in Judea and Samaria, nor in Gaza. Third, security, in everything that relates not only to settlements but also to Israelis wherever they may be in the area, is in Israel's hands. Security on the confrontation lines, on Israel's borders, on any crossing line, is in our hands: along the Jordan River, in the Jordan Valley -except for the Jericho area - if it is part of the area that is included in the interim arrangement agreement, and along the Egyptian border, including the terminals. Security in all these places is in our hands and under our responsibility. We are prepared to be party to establishing a reality whereby the internal Palestinian security will be in the Palestinians' hands. I said internal Palestinian security and let me re-emphasize - the security of Israelis, of settlements and Israelis both, is in our hands, with the extensive interpretation we will imbue it with. There is no commitment to the nature of the permanent solution.
"Here and there, I believe, it is surely possible to make observations about one phrasing or another but one should understand the substance in general. One should understand the significance involved in the timing of the agreement, reached in a reality of a Khomeinist wave that is sweeping the Arab and Muslim world, including the Palestinians. The line dividing people in the Arab world today is who is and who is not in favour of negotiations for a peaceful solution, regardless of anything that took place in the past. It is about time not to live in the past, but rather in the present, and look forward to the future. Every move involves risks, but it is necessary to remember which agreements are reversible and which are not. Every agreement that concerns an arrangement with the Palestinians on the establishment of the transitional period - the interim arrangement, autonomy - is then subject to chance if it is violated significantly. The IDF [Israel Defence Forces] exists. It is part of the agreement, which could not be the case in an agreement with an Arab country, when a withdrawal is on the line.
"Therefore, I believe that the right path and the right priority was chosen. Let me add that we also relied on Palestinians who are not residents of the territories. For a long while, I believed that only the Palestinians from among the residents of the territories might be able to be strong enough, might be able to pull enough weight, but after more than a year of negotiations I reached the conclusion that they were incapable of this. They did not reach Madrid at the time without a decision in Tunis, nor did they act without faxes and telephone calls from Tunis. This may not be pleasant, but it is a fact. Whoever wants to ignore facts, they are welcome to do so. But those who want to promote peace and the beginning of the solution cannot ignore this. Therefore, the dialogue was with Palestinians who are not necessarily residents of the territories, but the signing of the agreement will be between the delegations, in line with the Madrid conference format.
"I do not want to take issue with anybody or anything today. I believe that the road is correct. I believe that the move is correct. It is not easy. Any change, any solution, also involves risk, but the time has come to take risks for the sake of peace, of a solution. I believe that the agreement will be signed and implemented. It will take time. We are talking about a declaration of principles, about minutes to the declaration of principles, as well as several addenda, all of which still require negotiations. To implement matters, we need to hold negotiations on the substance of the so-called autonomy or interim arrangement and on the composition and powers of the council which will administer it. I would say that this agreement is divided into two, as follows:
"The first stage to be implemented is Gaza, with the settlements remaining there, as well as the IDF, in defence of the settlements. The IDF will withdraw from certain places, but will remain to safeguard the settlements and Israelis, as well as our borders. The first stage includes Jericho, provided that it serves as a seat for the body which will handle what the Americans call the early empowerment, the issue of self-administration. This is the condition for "Jericho First", and I prefer to have this arrangement there, farther away from Jerusalem, rather than in any place near Jerusalem.
"I am an advocate of the Allon Plan. Anybody familiar with it knows that it stipulates that in the permanent arrangement too, Jericho would be connected to Jordan by means of a corridor. I have not deviated from my personal commitment to the principles of the Allon Plan. I am telling you, at this stage and in the future a partial withdrawal in Gaza is better than the evacuation of the Golan Heights. Therefore, we face a rare opportunity. True, from the strategic point of view, Syria poses a greater problem than the problem with the Palestinians. However, a solution of the latter means solving the crux of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Although it is not the only one, it is the main focus of the conflict. Hence, what was agreed on in Oslo and what will be presented and signed in Washington - I hope and believe it will be so - is a great step forward in promoting Israel towards peace with all our neighbouring countries, first and foremost with the Palestinians.
"Observations will be made and criticism will be levelled. There will be talk about this or that clause and about this or that difficulty. Great moves cannot be done without difficulties and without taking reasonable risks. I will not go into any more details and I do not care what the Likud and the opposition say. We must tell the people: We promised to promote the making of peace. We said we would go for an interim arrangement with the Palestinians, without harming Jewish settlements and security and without making any commitment with regard to the permanent arrangement. Also, we said before the elections that we do not believe in Greater Israel. I do not believe in the right of the Israeli people over all Eretz Yisrael. I do not want, and I said as much time and again during the election campaign, to annex 1.8 to 2 million Palestinians and to turn the State of Israel into a bi-national state.
"However, that is not the issue now. This is our long-term policy. The issue now is the implementation of an interim arrangement for a period of five years. We inherited it through the Camp David accords and the letter of invitation to the Madrid Conference.
"And we are making progress toward the making of peace. We are not just talking about peace, but making it. Therefore, I think that what has been agreed is an achievement. I would like to congratulate [Foreign Minister] Shimon [Peres] for what he has done. We worked in cooperation. I think we are on the verge of a great opportunity. Moreover, I estimate that if the agreement is definitely signed and begins to be implemented, it will bring repercussions and will provide us with greater manoeuvring room in our contacts with the others. After all, our agreement with the Palestinians is not linked or contingent on any conditions with any other Arab partner. It is not like the peace treaty with Egypt, which was linked to the autonomy agreement. This agreement is not linked to Syria, Lebanon or Jordan and allows us manoeuvring room with them.
"This is the way things are. Of course, there will be attempts to scare people off, as was the case when we pulled out of Lebanon. Similar attempts will be made now. Who will make them? Those who set the precedent whereby down to the last square centimetre must be evacuated, all Israeli presence must be uprooted, and Yamit must be demolished in exchange for peace. If there is hypocrisy in the world, the Likud personifies it today. It is hypocrisy incarnate when their people berate an agreement that does not entail the uprooting or harming of even one settlement and that does not yet cede even one square centimetre. Therein lies the difference.
"This is how things stand at this point. I propose that all of us believe in our way and our commitment and talk less, seeing that I will not go into any more detail on specific clauses prior to the cabinet session."
Text of speech of the Foreign Minister of Israel before the Knesset,
Jerusalem, 30 August 1993
On 30 August 1993, speaking before a special plenary session of the Knesset, convened to consider the agreement with the PLO, the Foreign Minister of Israel, Mr. Shimon Peres, made the following statement:
"Honourable Knesset, the following are our proposals regarding the territories: The removal of the military authorities and the Civil Administration. The Arab residents will elect an administrative council on their own. We will not intervene in their handling of daily affairs. The term of the administrative council will be for four years from the day of its election. Its residence will be in Bethlehem. On behalf of the agreement and peace, Israel is proposing that the problem of sovereignty in these territories remain open. A strong local police force will be set up and this force can also include Jordanian civilians. If any PLO sympathizer is elected to this administrative council, what will our attitude be? We will tell them then: If you behave properly, you will sit on this council. Who said so in the past? It was none other than Menahem Begin!
"Let me say now that I was very impressed with David Levi's speech. It was truly a nice opposition speech. I am extending my compliments to him on this. He asked why the overjoyousness about the agreement. My friend David: we are now witnessing the beginning of the end of a 100-year conflict between us and the Palestinians and you are still living in the past. [Responding to repeated heckling by Likud Knesset Member (MK) Moshe Katzav] You are a young man who is not capable of seeing five steps ahead. [Responding to Likud MK Beni Begin] You are an intelligent person who lives in the past and is totally blind to today and tomorrow, blind and unwilling to hear and see. The world has changed completely. It is only you in the Likud who do not know about this. The conflict between the United States and Russia is over and Russian weapons do not flow in abundant quantities and for free to the Arabs. The Third World is over and the Arabs no longer enjoy the right of a disruptive majority around the world. You, the opposition, are only looking back. It is Iran rather than Israel that is currently seen as a danger by the Arab world, and hatred for zionism has grown weaker due to greater and just hatred of fundamentalism. Still, you stick to your oppositionist refrain.
"Let me answer you David Levi. What, in fact, is your question? Your question is why did we not strike an agreement on all of Judea and Samaria, instead of Jericho only? Why does this disturb you? Menahem Begin at the time did not propose Jericho, which - as Binyamin Netanyahu defined it - is only 15 minutes away from Jerusalem, but rather Bethlehem, which is only three minutes away from Jerusalem. Is Bethlehem kosher while Jericho is forbidden? [Peres takes issue with MK Beni Begin who keeps interrupting his speech] You have no idea what I am talking about. You are talking to yourself. I did not mislead anybody. What you, the opposition, want is an alliance of bluffs in the State of Israel. It is you who started the negotiations with the PLO and it is you now who are levelling accusations at us.
"To go back to David Levi's truly nice opposition speech - I do not want to offend anybody, but it was David Levi who delivered today's remarkable opposition speech. MK David Levi very neatly accused us of three things: First, he said, why are you coming to terms with the PLO? As I have said before in reference to this point, the late Prime Minister Menahem Begin said that if the PLO behaves properly we will talk to them and we will not scrutinize them with a magnifying glass. However, I do not want to dwell on this issue.
"I would like to tell MK David Levi that we were not the ones who removed our opposition to the PLO. It is the PLO that has been disbanding as a terror organization. We will not recognize the PLO unless it amends the Palestinian Covenant and renounces terror. There was once an organization called the FLN [Algeria's National Liberation Front] that engaged in terror. Then it renounced terror and became a political party. People who live in the past do not understand anything because they change nothing.
"What is the situation in the field? There is a Palestinian coalition that wants to attain an arrangement and a minority organization, Hamas [Islamic Resistance Movement].
"MK Matza, I hallucinated that we would have a nuclear reactor, an aviation industry, and a strong IDF. What hallucinations did you have? Some nerve! You call me a hallucinator? It will do you no good, nobody will be intimated by you!
"The situation in the field is that there is an armed Hamas and a Palestinian coalition without a police force. We must protect the Palestinian majority from the armed Palestinian minority. Why? David says they cannot be trusted to fight Hamas. Tell me: Why did they fight in Jordan? Why did they have Black September? Why do they not have Hamas in Jordan or in Egypt? Do you want to retain the monopoly? Let the Arabs protect their own majority! You need not be the one who defends the Arab majority! You need not be the one who fights the armed Arab minority! Let them do that! It is their business, not yours!
"Incidentally, the Likud claims it launched the peace process. I would like to make the following distinction: the late Menahem Begin made peace. Mr. Shamir, may he live long, made a parade that was not going anywhere. That was his goal. The Likud staged a parade in Madrid with ornaments, ceremonies and a table, but quietly told themselves: We are not moving from here. This is only a way station, but we are not moving from here. It is not for nothing that Mr. Shamir voted against Mr. Begin's peace; it was no mere coincidence.
"The agreement we have reached is better in several aspects than the Camp David accords and the autonomy plan that the Likud accepted, and on fundamental issues at that. The Camp David accords speak about an arrangement to ensure internal and external security, but do not stipulate who will be in charge of it; our agreement stipulates that we will be in charge. The Camp David accords do not mention the source of authority. Our agreement states that we are the source of authority. The Camp David accords are vague as to whether the autonomy applies to people or to territory; our agreement stipulates three categories distinguishing between territory, people and issues.
"As far as territory is concerned, the plan we propose does not include Jerusalem. The Likud's proposed autonomy applied to all the territory up to the Green Line, while our agreement does not include either Jerusalem, the settlements, security areas, highways or roads.
"Secondly, our agreement speaks of personal autonomy which does not apply to Israelis, not just to settlers but to any Israeli in the area.
"Our agreement makes a topical distinction, whereby the autonomy does not apply to the main issues of which we will be in charge. We have already spelled them out: We will be in charge of foreign affairs, security, the settlers and Israelis. These issues are clear and are better than all the vagueness, obscurity, evasiveness and double-talk that existed before.
"I would like to make another point: There should be no doubt whatsoever that our proposal in no way refers to a Palestinian State. The following sentence in Hebrew, English and every other possible language is included in the preamble of the agreement: The objective of the negotiations is to establish an interim Palestinian self-government authority in the framework of the current peace.
"My dear David Levi, you claim we have no strategy. Let me refer briefly to MK Netanyahu's tall tales about deception. Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin said before the elections that we favour a territorial compromise. We did not deceive or defraud anybody. We said we did not want to annex 2 million Arabs. These things were said, and based on them we won a majority.
"Moreover, we do have a strategy, both a negative and a positive one. The negative strategy is not to turn the Middle East into the Balkans and to turn Israel into Yugoslavia, but to make the Middle East resemble Europe and to make Israel a Jewish State. This is a clear and unequivocal strategy. David, perhaps deep in your heart you understand it very well. Why do I say that every Likud member believes that deep in his heart? Because, between you and me, when all is said and done, you gave up the Transjordan for the same reasons, although it may be hard for you to admit as much. Is the land of the Transjordan less worthy than the Jordan Rift Valley or the Golan Heights? Do you take us for fools? You know as well as we do that there will be no Balkans or Yugoslavia, but a region that lives in peace, a land that lives in peace with itself and with moral values, a country that does not rule over any other nation.
"Mr. Netanyahu, with all due respect and honesty, I would like to tell you: We were in the opposition when the Likud came up with the proposal to uproot settlements. Some of my party colleagues were adamant in their opposition to such a move. As head of the opposition, I said that although I did not like it we must accept it. We were in the opposition, but contrary to many of you, we supported Begin. You should have stood up today and fully supported our proposals. You said the public must not be deceived. Did you not tell the people that you were in favour of autonomy? So, why do you not support autonomy? We are not proposing to uproot settlements, Jerusalem is not included in the agreement. So, why do you not have the wisdom, honesty and courage to come out in support of autonomy? You are the one who is breaching a promise to the voters, not Rabin! Rabin is making good on his promises! You are the ones who are not! You are the ones who spoke about autonomy and are not prepared to fulfil it!
"I heard you talk about Jericho. Is Bethlehem any better? If you say it is an interim arrangement, the whole nation must believe you. So, why is it any different when we say it is an interim arrangement? Do we speak a different language? Look, you were in America and you are still in a daze. You have just come back and, believe me, you have not got a clue what we are talking about.
"I would like to make an interim proposal to MK Moshe Katzav: I will vow to oppose a Palestinian State and you will vow to support the autonomy. Why not? I would like to reach an understanding with you. After all, you favour autonomy, except you have forgotten. Only half a year ago, you were in favour of autonomy. What has happened to you? What got into your head?
"Members of the Likud, look deep into your souls. You are making a historic mistake. You made a commitment to autonomy, but, as MK Netanyahu put it, you are deceiving and defrauding the voters, you are not fulfilling your promises. As for us, we are united and convinced.
"One may argue with one organization or another. However, we are not negotiating with organizations. We are negotiating with a people, the Palestinian people recognized in the Camp David accords. The Palestinian people is the term used in those accords. We want to make a Middle East of peace, dignity and security.
"Speaking of matters of security and seeing that the Prime Minister is not here, I would like to say that no other man has ever insisted on each and every minute detail pertaining to security as he has. We will be in charge of external and internal security. We will be in charge of the security of the State of Israel and the security of every Israeli, in all the territories.
"This is a genuine proposal. We did not try to deceive either the Jews or the Palestinians. We want to live with them in peace. They are human beings just like us. We do not want to rule over them, scorn them or humiliate them. They are not four-legged creatures. They are not demons or animals. They are human beings just like us - Israel's faith is based upon such precepts - and we will live with them in peace.
"I call on my Likud colleagues to reconsider their position. First read what we are talking about, do not speculate. You took a very serious gamble when you chose to argue about speculation rather than about a written paper. You have not even seen it yet. The paper has worth, behind which stands the Jewish people, the State of Israel and the IDF.
"Mr. Speaker, I cannot fully detail the plan at this stage because the Israeli Government has not yet endorsed it. The Cabinet will meet today at 1900 [1600 GMT] to hold a debate. I hope it will approve the plan and we will be able to bring the good tidings to Israel's young generation that after 100 years of terror there will not be another 100 years of terror but the beginning of 100 years of dialogue and good neighbourliness. The entire nation will rally around the flag and the book of prayers, and all nations will march toward economic cooperation for the sake of the future of the entire region. I propose to refer all the motions to the Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee."
Text of statement by the Spokesman for the Secretary-General of
the United Nations on the draft Israeli-Palestinian agreement
United Nations Headquarters, 1 September 1993
On 1 September 1993, at United Nations Headquarters, the following statement was issued by the Spokesman for the United Nations Secretary-General concerning the draft Israeli-Palestinian agreement:
"The Secretary-General has studied the text of the draft Israeli-Palestinian agreement issued yesterday. He congratulates the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestinian delegation and expresses the hope that they will sign the agreement so that it may enter into force soon.
"The Secretary-General notes that the draft accord envisages an international presence in connection with its implementation. Once the agreement has been signed, and should the two parties so request, the United Nations will be ready to provide assistance in every possible way in the areas specified in the agreement in order to contribute to the establishment of peace in the Middle East, in accordance with the resolutions of the United Nations."
Text of statement by the Spokesman for the Secretary-General of the
United Nations on the establishment of a high-level task force on
economic and social development of the Gaza Strip and Jericho
United Nations Headquarters, 9 September 1993
On 9 September 1993, at United Nations Headquarters, the following statement was issued by the Spokesman for the United Nations Secretary-General on the question of the involvement of the United Nations in the economic and social development of the Gaza Strip and Jericho:
"In an effort to support the momentum in the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, and in response to requests he has received from PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat and Israeli Minister for Foreign Affairs Shimon Peres, the Secretary-General last night established a high-level task force whose focus will be the economic and social development of the Gaza Strip and Jericho.
"Members of the task force include UNDP Administrator James Gustave Speth, UNICEF Executive Director James Grant, UNRWA Commissioner-General Ilter Türkmen, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Jan Eliasson, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs James Jonah and Special Political Adviser to the Secretary-General Chinmaya Rajaninath Gharekhan.
"The priorities of the task force, whose work begins immediately, will be the following: to establish an integrated United Nations approach towards development in these areas, with a particular focus on Gaza, where needs are greatest; to coordinate with other institutions, agencies and non-governmental organizations involved in ongoing development projects so as to avoid a duplication of efforts; and to mobilize international financial support for this process. The task force will prepare proposals for the Secretary-General before the start of the General Assembly."
Text of statement by the media adviser to the Israeli Prime Minister on
the exchange of documents of mutual recognition by Israel and the PLO
Jerusalem, 9 September 1993
On 9 September 1993, at Jerusalem, the following statement was made by Mr. Oded Ben-Ami, media adviser to Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, regarding the exchange of documents of mutual recognition by Israel and the PLO:
"The Ministerial Committee of Defence empowered the Prime Minister and Minister of Defence to sign the exchange of documents with the Chairman of the PLO. The documents will be signed here in Jerusalem after we will get the announcement that they have been signed by the Chairman of the PLO in Tunis. The Foreign Minister of Norway will be here in Jerusalem tonight from Tunis, and the documents will be brought to the approval of the Israeli Cabinet on Sunday [12 September]."
Texts of letters of mutual recognition by Israel and the PLO,
9 September 1993
On 9 September 1993, Israel and the PLO exchanged letters of mutual recognition. Also, the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the PLO Mr. Yasser Arafat, addressed a related letter to the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Norway, Mr. Johan Jorgen Holst. The following are the texts of the letters as provided to
The New York Times
by the Office of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin:
Chairman Arafat to Prime Minister Rabin
"9 September 1993
"Mr. Prime Minister,
"The signing of the Declaration of Principles marks a new era in the history of the Middle East. In firm conviction thereof, I would like to confirm the following PLO commitments:
"The PLO recognizes the right of the State of Israel to exist in peace and security.
"The PLO accepts United Nations Security Council resolutions 242 [1967)] and 338 [(1973)].
"The PLO commits itself to the Middle East peace process and to a peaceful resolution of the conflict between the two sides and declares that all outstanding issues relating to permanent status will be resolved through negotiations.
"The PLO considers that the signing of the Declaration of Principles constitutes a historic event, inaugurating a new epoch of peaceful co-existence, free from violence and all other acts which endanger peace and stability. Accordingly, the PLO renounces the use of terrorism and other acts of violence and will assume responsibility over all PLO elements and personnel in order to assure their compliance, prevent violations and discipline violators.
"In view of the promise of a new era and the signing of the Declaration of Principles and based on Palestinian acceptance of Security Council resolutions 242 [(1967)] and 338 [(1973)], the PLO affirms that those articles of the Palestinian Covenant which deny Israel's right to exist and the provisions of the Covenant which are inconsistent with the commitments of this letter are now inoperative and no longer valid. Consequently, the PLO undertakes to submit to the Palestinian National Council, for formal approval, the necessary changes in regard to the Palestinian Covenant.
"Sincerely, "Yasser Arafat
Palestine Liberation Organization"
Prime Minister Rabin to Chairman Arafat
"9 September 1993
"In response to your letter of 9 September 1993, I wish to confirm to you that in light of the PLO commitments included in your letter, the Government of Israel has decided to recognize the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian people and commence negotiations with the PLO within the Middle East peace process.
"Prime Minister of Israel"
Chairman Arafat to Foreign Minister Holst
"9 September 1993
"Dear Minister Holst,
"I would like to confirm to you that upon the signing of the Declaration of Principles, I will include the following positions in my public statements:
"In light of the new era marked by the signing of the Declaration of Principles, the PLO encourages and calls upon the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to take part in the steps leading to the normalization of life, rejecting violence and terrorism, contributing to peace and stability and participating actively in shaping reconstruction, economic development and cooperation.
"Palestine Liberation Organization"
Text of statement by President Clinton,
Washington, D.C., 10 September 1993
The following is the text of a statement made on 10 September 1993, at the White House, by President Bill Clinton:
"Today marks a shining moment of hope for the people of the Middle East; indeed, of the entire world. The Israelis and the Palestinians have now agreed upon a declaration of principles on an interim self-government that opens the door to a comprehensive and lasting settlement.
"This declaration represents a historic and honourable compromise between two peoples who have been locked in a bloody struggle for almost a century. Too many have suffered for too long. The agreement is a bold breakthrough. The Palestine Liberation Organization openly and unequivocally has renounced the use of violence and has pledged to live in peace with Israel. Israel, in turn, has announced its recognition of the PLO.
"I want to express my congratulations and praise for the courage and the vision displayed by the Israeli and Palestinian leadership and for the crucially helpful role played by Norway.
"For too long, the history of the Middle East has been defined in terms of violence and bloodshed. Today marks the dawning of a new era. Now there is an opportunity to define the future of the Middle East in terms of reconciliation and coexistence and the opportunities that children growing up there will have whether they are Israeli or Palestinian.
"I want to express the full support of the United States for this dramatic and promising step. For more than a quarter of a century, our nation has been directly engaged in efforts to resolve the Middle East conflict. We have done so because it reflects our finest values and our deepest interests - our interests in a stable Middle East where Israelis and Arabs can live together in harmony and develop the potential of their region, which is tremendous. From Camp David to Madrid, to the signing ceremony that will take place at the White House on Monday, administration after administration has facilitated this difficult but essential quest.
"From my first day in office, [United States] Secretary [of State Warren] Christopher and I have made this a priority. We are resolved to continue this process to achieve a comprehensive Arab-Israeli resolution.
"In 1990, the United States suspended the United States-PLO dialogue, begun two years earlier, following an act of terrorism committed against Israel by a faction of the PLO. Yesterday Yasser Arafat wrote to Prime Minister Rabin, committing the PLO to accept Israel's right to exist in peace and security, to renounce terrorism, to take responsibility for the actions of its constituent groups, to discipline those elements who violate these new commitments, and to nullify key elements of the Palestinian covenant that denied Israel's right to exist. These PLO commitments justify a resumption of our dialogue.
"As a result and in light of this week's events, I have decided to resume the dialogue and the contacts between the United States and the PLO.
"The path ahead will not be easy. These new understandings, impressive though they are, will not erase the fears and suspicions of the past. But now the Israelis and the Palestinians have laid the foundations of hope. The United States will continue to be a full and an active partner in the negotiations that lie ahead, to ensure that this promise of progress is fully realized.
"All the peoples of the Middle East deserve the blessings of peace. I pledge to join them, in our help and our support, to achieve that objective. I look forward to joining with Russia - our co-sponsor in the Middle East peace process - and with the people of the world in witnessing the historic signing on Monday.
"I also want to say I am very grateful for the overwhelming support this agreement has generated among members of both parties in the United States Congress. I especially thank leaders in the Congress from both parties who have foreign policy responsibilities and who have come to meet with me this morning in the White House, many of whom have stayed on for this statement.
"This is a time for bipartisan support for this agreement and, indeed, a bipartisan effort to reassert and define America's role in a very new world. We were talking today in our meeting about how this period is not unlike the late 1940s, a time in which America was the first nation to recognize Israel and in which we formed the United Nations and other international institutions in an attempt to work toward the world which everyone hoped would follow from World War II.
"Once again, we must develop a strong philosophy and a practical set of institutions that can permit us to follow our values and our interests and to work for a more peaceful, a more humane and a more democratic world.
"This is an enormous step toward that larger goal. And I think all Americans should be grateful for the opportunity that we have been presented to help to make this historic peace work."
Text of statement by the Foreign Minister of Norway, Johan Jorgen Holst,
Jerusalem, 10 September 1993
On 10 September 1993, at the signing ceremony of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's letter to the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the PLO, Yasser Arafat, held at the Office of the Prime Minister in Jerusalem, the following statement was made by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Norway Mr. Johan Jorgen Holst:
"Mr. Prime Minister:
"Let me just very briefly state how pleased we have been and how humble I feel having had a chance to play a small role in this very important endeavour to bring peace to the embattled area of the Middle East. It has been a very long journey and some very dedicated people have worked very, very hard to produce the documents that settle the immediate matters that needed to be settled. We have had the privilege of working together with some fantastic Israelis and equally with some unique Palestinians in finding a solution to what increasingly came to be seen as common challenges, common problems. And when I see the kind of spirit, the kind of cooperation that developed between the two groups of people who so ably and so tenaciously represented their different sides, I feel that the future is bright indeed. There is hope, and I think one has, as the Prime Minister said, entered a new era. We have gone beyond the stage where decisions could only be made by consensus. You have to break the consensus in order to make the necessary decisions and in order to provide a basis from which you can build a new consensus, and it seems to me that the importance of the documents that have now been initialled and signed is that we have created a new basis for building a common future in the Middle East.
"One has put history behind us and we are looking towards the future, and the Declaration of Principles that has been agreed between the two sides, it seems to me, points towards a future that you will have to build together and by common endeavour rather than in common conflict. So my only task is to thank you very much for everything that you have done in accomplishing these very, very important results and for giving us a chance to serve in that very, very important endeavour."
Text of statement of the Executive Committee of the PLO
on the Israeli-PLO Declaration of Principles,
Tunis, 12 September 1993
The following is the text of a statement issued on 12 September 1993, at Tunis, by the Executive Committee of the PLO:
"O masses of our great struggling people,
"O daughters and sons of Palestine on the land of the homeland, in exiles and the diaspora,
"The Executive Committee of the PLO addresses you with the salutation of steadfastness and determination at this historic turning point through which our national cause is passing. Our people is anxious to welcome a new stage in its long struggle through the realization of the first tangible achievement on the land of its homeland. The tidings of this achievement would not have appeared without the dear sacrifices offered by the caravans of martyrs and mujahidin for generation after generation in defence of the unchallenged right of our people in self-determination, the return and independence.
"The PLO has arrived at the first agreement in our contemporary history with Israel that ensures the recognition of the legitimate rights of our Palestinian people and the Palestine Liberation Organization as its sole representative.
"The significance of this agreement is represented by the fact that it stipulates the realization of a comprehensive solution on the bases of the implementation of the United Nations Security Council resolutions 242 [(1967)] and 338 [(1973)] and the withdrawal of the Israeli forces within a number of months from parts of our occupied homeland in the Gaza Strip and the Jericho area; the redeployment of all Israeli forces in the other areas outside the populated areas in the cities, villages and camps; the departure of military rule; and the dismantling of the Israeli civil administration to be replaced by the Palestinian authority and the elected Palestinian council, which will assume its duties over all of the Bank and Gaza after a free and democratic elections under international supervision.
"The Palestinian security forces, which will be formed from elements at home and abroad will take over responsibilities for internal security in the entire Palestinian territory. The agreement will guarantee the control of our people over all its capabilities, affairs, and the return of those who have left since 1967, during the interim stage.
"These positive elements, which have been realized despite the fact that they do not solve all the issues which constitute the basis of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, have been associated quite correctly with all our rights and demands and, above all, the issues of Holy Jerusalem, the refugees, the settlements and the borders. It has been agreed to discuss them two years after the beginning of the interim stage.
"The PLO affirms that reaching a final solution to the conflict remains linked to the realization of a just solution to these central issues. These issues are also a Palestinian, Arab, Islamic, Christian and international responsibility - a matter that makes it all the more necessary that they should be continually adhered to, that all forms of coordination and joint Arab and international action be ensured to realize them, and that a just, comprehensive and final settlement of the conflict in our region is reached.
"At a time when the PLO considers that the Palestinian-Israeli agreement on the Declaration of Principles constitutes an important step toward the solution of the conflict, the PLO proceeds in this stance on the basis of acceptation of the challenge of peace and of giving a chance to the achievement of the just solution with all its aspects and dimensions, as contained in [the United Nations Security Council] resolutions 242 [(1967)] and 338 [(1973)], and the principle of returning all the occupied territories for peace and guaranteeing security for all. In this context, the implementation of the agreement with all its aspects and the precise respect of its timetable, and the shouldering of international efforts to provide all the political and economic elements so as to make it successful, will be the real criterion through which our people will decide on the seriousness of all the parties concerned and their adherence to their pledges and commitments.
"The continuation of international supervision of the forthcoming stage in the negotiations and the steps for its implementation and the support for the process of establishing the infrastructure of the Palestinian authority are necessary elements for achieving the success of the agreement and for providing the atmosphere for real peace.
"The PLO stresses that stopping all activities of settlement, particularly in Holy Jerusalem, constitutes a main element for ensuring the success of the transitional arrangements, in addition to all the measures and steps liable to achieve for our people and all their sons their legitimate rights, including the release of prisoners, the return of deportees, the cessation of the isolation of Jerusalem and the lifting of the siege on the remaining occupied territories.
"The PLO considers that the success of the agreement and the guaranteeing of our rights in full in accordance with the resolutions of international legitimacy, depend on our people with all their capabilities and national efficiencies and on the use and employment of all its capabilities inside and outside the homeland. Our great people are entering a new stage in the struggle, which needs greater efforts and the contribution of every Palestinian with all his capabilities, to build our national Palestinian authority and ensure the victory of our just aims. Within this framework, the Organization reaffirms that the protection of our position and our national unity and the bolstering of the latter in all spheres will guarantee that your people will pass this turning point and move towards the final solution while the people are capable of protecting and adhering to its aims as well as to guaranteeing their realization. To this end, the Organization regards that it is the duty of all to respect the bases of national and democratic action and to be committed to a comprehensive national charter of honour, which contains an insistence on our national rights, as stipulated by the resolutions of our national councils and the Palestinian peace initiatives, and on guaranteeing views and alternative views, and on always upholding rule by democratic means and respecting human rights and dignity, and on dependence on the role of the national establishments and to adhere to their resolutions and to observe all the democratic rules stipulated by the Palestinian Independence Declaration.
"The PLO, in these historic and fateful circumstances, stresses its commitment to the comprehensive settlement at all Arab fronts and its refusal to separate settlements. If the progress happening at the Palestinian track is still within the framework of the transitional stage, this progress supports the continued efforts at the Arab tracks to attain an actual achievement to implement the international resolutions. The PLO calls for raising the coordination formula level and joint work among the five Arab States concerned with the peace process and working toward the convocation of an Arab summit to support the efforts of all the parties that participated in the political process and providing an actual support for the success of the interim agreement at the Palestinian track.
"Our Arab nation approaches a new decisive period, which requires the restoration of the Arab solidarity and the opening up of a new chapter in inter-Arab relations to safeguard interests and national rights and to secure the restoration of all the occupied Arab and Palestinian territories, in the forefront, Holy Jerusalem.
"The PLO stresses its eagerness to develop and strengthen Jordanian-Palestinian coordination and to ensure the integration of all efforts in all fields to attain the highest level of formulas and forms of relations between the two fraternal countries, stemming from the unity of goals and common fate, which have been stressed by the meetings of two leaderships - the Jordanian and the Palestinian - and which were organized and outlined through coordination committees and joint work.
"The Palestine Liberation Organization, in this era of our just struggle, is continuing work in different fields to handle issues and challenges arising from this new stage.
"The Organization calls on all creative powers and national capacities to pour all their efforts into setting up the first national authority on our nation's Holy Land. The Executive Committee will call on the Palestinian Central Council to convene as soon as possible, with a wide and effective participation from all the forces and personalities within the nation and abroad, to set down national responsibilities and to develop our people's contribution using all their forces and capabilities in the current national battle of destiny.
"The PLO confirms that this great achievement and the new track that our national issue has entered was a result of the sacrifice of thousands of martyrs, detainees and wounded, and the heroics of all the sons and daughters of our great people.
"Our brave people will remain determined on their aims and rights until just and honourable peace is attained on the land of peace, on the land of Palestine, the place of the Revelation [Islam] and the cradle of the divine messages.
"In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate: Yet we desired to be gracious to those that were abased in the land, and to make them leaders, and to make them the inheritors, and to establish them in the land. [Koranic verse]
"Glory and eternity be to our righteous martyrs and victory be for the aims of our great people.
"Tunis, 12 September 1993.
"[Signed] The Executive Committee of
the Palestine Liberation Organization"
Text of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government
Arrangements, including Annexes and Agreed Minutes,
Washington, D.C., 13 September 1993
The following is the official text of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements, including its Annexes, and its Agreed Minutes, signed on 13 September 1993 at Washington, D.C., by Israel and the PLO:
Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements
"The Government of the State of Israel and the PLO team (in the Jordanian-Palestinian delegation to the Middle East Peace Conference) (the "Palestinian Delegation"), representing the Palestinian people, agree that it is time to put an end to decades of confrontation and conflict, recognize their mutual legitimate and political rights, and strive to live in peaceful coexistence and mutual dignity and security and achieve a just, lasting and comprehensive peace settlement and historic reconciliation through the agreed political process. Accordingly, the two sides agree to the following principles:
"AIM OF THE NEGOTIATIONS
"The aim of the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations within the current Middle East peace process is, among other things, to establish a Palestinian Interim Self-Government Authority, the elected Council (the "Council"), for the Palestinian people in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, for a transitional period not exceeding five years, leading to a permanent settlement based on Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973). It is understood that the interim arrangements are an integral part of the whole peace process and that the negotiations on the permanent status will lead to the implementation of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973).
"FRAMEWORK FOR THE INTERIM PERIOD
"The agreed framework for the interim period is set forth in this Declaration of Principles.
"1. In order that the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza Strip may govern themselves according to democratic principles, direct, free and general political elections will be held for the Council under agreed supervision and international observation, while the Palestinian police will ensure public order.
"2. An agreement will be concluded on the exact mode and conditions of the elections in accordance with the protocol attached as Annex I, with the goal of holding the elections not later than nine months after the entry into force of this Declaration of Principles.
"3. These elections will constitute a significant interim preparatory step toward the realization of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people and their just requirements.
"Jurisdiction of the Council will cover West Bank and Gaza Strip territory, except for issues that will be negotiated in the permanent status negotiations. The two sides view the West Bank and the Gaza Strip as a single territorial unit, whose integrity will be preserved during the interim period.
"TRANSITIONAL PERIOD AND PERMANENT STATUS NEGOTIATIONS
"1. The five-year transitional period will begin upon the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and Jericho area.
"2. Permanent status negotiations will commence as soon as possible, but not later than the beginning of the third year of the interim period, between the Government of Israel and the Palestinian people's representatives.
"3. It is understood that these negotiations shall cover remaining issues, including: Jerusalem, refugees, settlements, security arrangements, borders, relations and cooperation with other neighbours, and other issues of common interest.
"4. The two parties agree that the outcome of the permanent status negotiations should not be prejudiced or preempted by agreements reached for the interim period.
"PREPARATORY TRANSFER OF POWERS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
"1. Upon the entry into force of this Declaration of Principles and the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and the Jericho area, a transfer of authority from the Israeli military government and its Civil Administration to the authorized Palestinians for this task, as detailed herein, will commence. This transfer of authority will be of a preparatory nature until the inauguration of the Council.
"2. Immediately after the entry into force of this Declaration of Principles and the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and Jericho area, with the view to promoting economic development in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, authority will be transferred to the Palestinians in the following spheres: education and culture, health, social welfare, direct taxation and tourism. The Palestinian side will commence in building the Palestinian police force, as agreed upon. Pending the inauguration of the Council, the two parties may negotiate the transfer of additional powers and responsibilities, as agreed upon.
"1. The Israeli and Palestinian delegations will negotiate an agreement on the interim period (the "Interim Agreement").
"2. The Interim Agreement shall specify, among other things, the structure of the Council, the number of its members, and the transfer of powers and responsibilities from the Israeli military government and its Civil Administration to the Council. The Interim Agreement shall also specify the Council's executive authority, legislative authority in accordance with Article IX below, and the independent Palestinian judicial organs.
"3. The Interim Agreement shall include arrangements, to be implemented upon the inauguration of the Council, for the assumption by the Council of all of the powers and responsibilities transferred previously in accordance with Article VI above.
"4. In order to enable the Council to promote economic growth, upon its inauguration, the Council will establish, among other things, a Palestinian Electricity Authority, a Gaza Sea Port Authority, a Palestinian Development Bank, a Palestinian Export Promotion Board, a Palestinian Environmental Authority, a Palestinian Land Authority and a Palestinian Water Administration Authority and any other Authorities agreed upon, in accordance with the Interim Agreement, that will specify their powers and responsibilities.
"5. After the inauguration of the Council, the Civil Administration will be dissolved, and the Israeli military government will be withdrawn.
"PUBLIC ORDER AND SECURITY
"In order to guarantee public order and internal security for the Palestinians of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, the Council will establish a strong police force, while Israel will continue to carry the responsibility for defending against external threats, as well as the responsibility for overall security of Israelis for the purpose of safeguarding their internal security and public order.
"LAWS AND MILITARY ORDERS
"1. The Council will be empowered to legislate, in accordance with the Interim Agreement, within all authorities transferred to it.
"2. Both parties will review jointly laws and military orders presently in force in remaining spheres.
"JOINT ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN LIAISON COMMITTEE
"In order to provide for a smooth implementation of this Declaration of Principles and any subsequent agreements pertaining to the interim period, upon the entry into force of this Declaration of Principles, a Joint Israeli-Palestinian Liaison Committee will be established in order to deal with issues requiring coordination, other issues of common interest and disputes.
"ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN COOPERATION IN ECONOMIC FIELDS
"Recognizing the mutual benefit of cooperation in promoting the development of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and Israel, upon the entry into force of this Declaration of Principles, an Israeli-Palestinian Economic Cooperation Committee will be established in order to develop and implement in a cooperative manner the programmes identified in the protocols attached as Annex III and Annex IV.
"LIAISON AND COOPERATION WITH JORDAN AND EGYPT
"The two parties will invite the Governments of Jordan and Egypt to participate in establishing further liaison and cooperation arrangements between the Government of Israel and the Palestinian representatives, on the one hand, and the Governments of Jordan and Egypt, on the other hand, to promote cooperation between them. These arrangements will include the constitution of a Continuing Committee that will decide by agreement on the modalities of admission of persons displaced from the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 1967, together with necessary measures to prevent disruption and disorder. Other matters of common concern will be dealt with by this Committee.
"REDEPLOYMENT OF ISRAELI FORCES
"1. After the entry into force of this Declaration of Principles, and not later than the eve of elections for the Council, a redeployment of Israeli military forces in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip will take place, in addition to withdrawal of Israeli forces carried out in accordance with Article XIV.
"2. In redeploying its military forces, Israel will be guided by the principle that its military forces should be redeployed outside populated areas.
"3. Further redeployments to specified locations will be gradually implemented commensurate with the assumption of responsibility for public order and internal security by the Palestinian police force pursuant to Article VIII above.
"ISRAELI WITHDRAWAL FROM THE GAZA STRIP AND JERICHO AREA
"Israel will withdraw from the Gaza Strip and Jericho area, as detailed in the protocol attached as Annex II.
"RESOLUTION OF DISPUTES
"1. Disputes arising out of the application or interpretation of this Declaration of Principles, or any subsequent agreements pertaining to the interim period, shall be resolved by negotiations through the Joint Liaison Committee to be established pursuant to Article X above.
"2. Disputes which cannot be settled by negotiations may be resolved by a mechanism of conciliation to be agreed upon by the parties.
"3. The parties may agree to submit to arbitration disputes relating to the interim period, which cannot be settled through conciliation. To this end, upon the agreement of both parties, the parties will establish an Arbitration Committee.
"ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN COOPERATION CONCERNING REGIONAL PROGRAMMES
"Both parties view the multilateral working groups as an appropriate instrument for promoting a `Marshall Plan', the regional programmes and other programmes, including special programmes for the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as indicated in the protocol attached as Annex IV.
"1. This Declaration of Principles will enter into force one month after its signing.
"2. All protocols annexed to this Declaration of Principles and Agreed Minutes pertaining thereto shall be regarded as an integral part hereof.
"DONE at Washington, D.C., this thirteenth day of September 1993.
"For the Government of Israel: For the PLO:
) Shimon PERES (
) Mahmud ABBAS
"The United States of America The Russian Federation
) Warren CHRISTOPHER (
) Andrei V. KOZYREV
Protocol on the Mode and Conditions of Elections
"1. Palestinians of Jerusalem who live there will have the right to participate in the election process, according to an agreement between the two sides.
"2. In addition, the election agreement should cover, among other things, the following issues:
"(a) The system of elections;
"(b) The mode of the agreed supervision and international observation and their personal composition;
"(c) Rules and regulations regarding election campaigns, including agreed arrangements for the organizing of mass media, and the possibility of licensing a broadcasting and television station.
"3. The future status of displaced Palestinians who were registered on 4 June 1967 will not be prejudiced because they are unable to participate in the election process owing to practical reasons.
Protocol on Withdrawal of Israeli Forces from the Gaza Strip and Jericho Area
1. The two sides will conclude and sign within two months from the date of entry into force of this Declaration of Principles an agreement on the withdrawal of Israeli military forces from the Gaza Strip and Jericho area. This agreement will include comprehensive arrangements to apply in the Gaza Strip and the Jericho area subsequent to the Israeli withdrawal.
"2. Israel will implement an accelerated and scheduled withdrawal of Israeli military forces from the Gaza Strip and Jericho area, beginning immediately with the signing of the agreement on the Gaza Strip and Jericho area and to be completed within a period not exceeding four months after the signing of this agreement.
"3. The above agreement will include, among other things:
"(a) Arrangements for a smooth and peaceful transfer of authority from the Israeli military government and its Civil Administration to the Palestinian representatives;
"(b) Structure, powers and responsibilities of the Palestinian authority in these areas, except: external security, settlements, Israelis, foreign relations and other mutually agreed matters;
"(c) Arrangements for the assumption of internal security and public order by the Palestinian police force consisting of police officers recruited locally and from abroad (holding Jordanian passports and Palestinian documents issued by Egypt). Those who will participate in the Palestinian police force coming from abroad should be trained as police and police officers;
"(d) A temporary international or foreign presence, as agreed upon;
"(e) Establishment of a joint Palestinian-Israeli Coordination and Cooperation Committee for mutual security purposes;
"(f) An economic development and stabilization programme including the establishment of an Emergency Fund, to encourage foreign investment and financial and economic support. Both sides will coordinate and cooperate jointly and unilaterally with regional and international parties to support these aims;
"(g) Arrangements for a safe passage for persons and transportation between the Gaza Strip and Jericho area.
"4. The above agreement will include arrangements for coordination between both parties regarding passages:
"(a) Gaza - Egypt;
"(b) Jericho - Jordan.
"5. The offices responsible for carrying out the powers and responsibilities of the Palestinian authority under this Annex II and Article VI of the Declaration of Principles will be located in the Gaza Strip and in the Jericho area pending the inauguration of the Council.
"6. Other than these agreed arrangements, the status of the Gaza Strip and Jericho area will continue to be an integral part of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and will not be changed in the interim period.
Protocol on Israeli-Palestinian Cooperation in
Economic and Development Programmes
"The two sides agree to establish an Israeli-Palestinian Continuing Committee for Economic Cooperation, focusing, among other things, on the following:
"1. Cooperation in the field of water, including a Water Development Programme prepared by experts from both sides, which will also specify the mode of cooperation in the management of water resources in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and will include proposals for studies and plans on water rights of each party, as well as on the equitable utilization of joint water resources for implementation in and beyond the interim period.
"2. Cooperation in the field of electricity, including an Electricity Development Programme, which will also specify the mode of cooperation for the production, maintenance, purchase and sale of electricity resources.
"3. Cooperation in the field of energy, including an Energy Development Programme, which will provide for the exploitation of oil and gas for industrial purposes, particularly in the Gaza Strip and in the Negev, and will encourage further joint exploitation of other energy resources. This Programme may also provide for the construction of a petrochemical industrial complex in the Gaza Strip and the construction of oil and gas pipelines.
"4. Cooperation in the field of finance, including a Financial Development and Action Programme for the encouragement of international investment in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and in Israel, as well as the establishment of a Palestinian Development Bank.
"5. Cooperation in the field of transport and communications, including a Programme, which will define guidelines for the establishment of a Gaza Sea Port Area, and will provide for the establishing of transport and communications lines to and from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip to Israel and to other countries. In addition, this Programme will provide for carrying out the necessary construction of roads, railways, communications lines, etc.
"6. Cooperation in the field of trade, including studies, and Trade Promotion Programmes, which will encourage local, regional and interregional trade, as well as a feasibility study of creating free trade zones in the Gaza Strip and in Israel, mutual access to these zones and cooperation in other areas related to trade and commerce.
"7. Cooperation in the field of industry, including Industrial Development Programmes, which will provide for the establishment of joint Israeli-Palestinian Industrial Research and Development Centres, will promote Palestinian-Israeli joint ventures, and provide guidelines for cooperation in the textile, food, pharmaceutical, electronics, diamonds, computer and science-based industries.
"8. A Programme for cooperation in, and regulation of, labour relations and cooperation in social welfare issues.
"9. A Human Resource Development and Cooperation Plan, providing for joint Israeli-Palestinian workshops and seminars, and for the establishment of joint vocational training centres, research institutes and data banks.
"10. An Environmental Protection Plan, providing for joint and/or coordinated measures in this sphere.
"11. A Programme for developing coordination and cooperation in the field of communications and media.
"12. Any other programmes of mutual interest.
Protocol on Israeli-Palestinian Cooperation
concerning Regional Development Programmes
"1. The two sides will cooperate in the context of the multilateral peace efforts in promoting a Development Programme for the region, including the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, to be initiated by the Group of Seven. The parties will request the Group of Seven to seek the participation in this Programme of other interested States, such as members of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, regional Arab States and institutions, as well as members of the private sector.
"2. The Development Programme will consist of two elements:
"(a) An Economic Development Programme for the West Bank and the Gaza Strip;
"(b) A Regional Economic Development Programme.
"A. The Economic Development Programme for the West Bank and the Gaza Strip will consist of the following elements:
"(1) A Social Rehabilitation Programme, including a Housing and Construction Programme;
"(2) A Small and Medium Business Development Plan;
"(3) An Infrastructure Development Programme (water, electricity, transportation and communications, etc.);
"(4) A Human Resources Plan;
"(5) Other programmes.
"B. The Regional Economic Development Programme may consist of the following elements:
"(1) The establishment of a Middle East Development Fund, as a first step, and a Middle East Development Bank, as a second step;
"(2) The development of a joint Israeli-Palestinian-Jordanian Plan for coordinated exploitation of the Dead Sea area;
"(3) The Mediterranean Sea (Gaza) - Dead Sea Canal;
"(4) Regional desalinization and other water development projects;
"(5) A regional plan for agricultural development, including a coordinated regional effort for the prevention of desertification;
"(6) Interconnection of electricity grids;
"(7) Regional cooperation for the transfer, distribution and industrial exploitation of gas, oil and other energy resources;
"(8) A Regional Tourism, Transportation and Telecommunications Development Plan;
"(9) Regional cooperation in other spheres.
"3. The two sides will encourage the multilateral working groups and will coordinate towards their success. The two parties will encourage inter-sessional activities, as well as pre-feasibility and feasibility studies, within the various multilateral working groups.
Agreed Minutes to the Declaration of Principles
on Interim Self-Government Arrangements
"A. GENERAL UNDERSTANDINGS AND AGREEMENTS
"Any powers and responsibilities transferred to the Palestinians pursuant to the Declaration of Principles prior to the inauguration of the Council will be subject to the same principles pertaining to Article IV, as set out in these Agreed Minutes below.
"B. SPECIFIC UNDERSTANDINGS AND AGREEMENTS
"It is understood that:
"1. Jurisdiction of the Council will cover West Bank and Gaza Strip territory, except for issues that will be negotiated in the permanent status negotiations: Jerusalem, settlements, military locations and Israelis.
"2. The Council's jurisdiction will apply with regard to the agreed powers, responsibilities, spheres and authorities transferred to it.
Article VI (2
"It is agreed that the transfer of authority will be as follows:
"1. The Palestinian side will inform the Israeli side of the names of the authorized Palestinians who will assume the powers, authorities and responsibilities that will be transferred to the Palestinians according to the Declaration of Principles in the following fields: education and culture, health, social welfare, direct taxation, tourism and any other authorities agreed upon.
"2. It is understood that the rights and obligations of these offices will not be affected.
"3. Each of the spheres described above will continue to enjoy existing budgetary allocations in accordance with arrangements to be mutually agreed upon. These arrangements also will provide for the necessary adjustments required in order to take into account the taxes collected by the direct taxation office.
"4. Upon the execution of the Declaration of Principles, the Israeli and Palestinian delegations will immediately commence negotiations on a detailed plan for the transfer of authority on the above offices in accordance with the above understandings.
Article VII (2
"The Interim Agreement will also include arrangements for coordination and cooperation.
Article VII (5
"The withdrawal of the military government will not prevent Israel from exercising the powers and responsibilities not transferred to the Council.
"It is understood that the Interim Agreement will include arrangements for cooperation and coordination between the two parties in this regard. It is also agreed that the transfer of powers and responsibilities to the Palestinian police will be accomplished in a phased manner, as agreed in the Interim Agreement.
"It is agreed that, upon the entry into force of the Declaration of Principles, the Israeli and Palestinian delegations will exchange the names of the individuals designated by them as members of the Joint Israeli-Palestinian Liaison Committee. It is further agreed that each side will have an equal number of members in the Joint Committee. The Joint Committee will reach decisions by agreement. The Joint Committee may add other technicians and experts, as necessary. The Joint Committee will decide on the frequency and place or places of its meetings.
"It is understood that, subsequent to the Israeli withdrawal, Israel will continue to be responsible for external security, and for internal security and public order of settlements and Israelis. Israeli military forces and civilians may continue to use roads freely within the Gaza Strip and the Jericho area.
"DONE at Washington, D.C., this thirteenth day of September 1993.
"For the Government of Israel: For the PLO:
) Shimon PERES (
) Mahmud ABBAS
"The United States of America The Russian Federation
) Warren CHRISTOPHER (
) Andrei V. KOZYREV "
Ceremony for signing of the Declaration of Principles,
Washington, D.C., 13 September 1993
On 13 September 1993, at the White House, during the ceremony for signing of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements, the following statements were made:
"Prime Minister Rabin, Chairman Arafat, Foreign Minister Peres, Mr. Abbas, President Carter, President Bush, distinguished guests:
"On behalf of the United States and Russia, co-sponsors of the Middle East peace process, welcome to this great occasion of history and hope.
"Today, we bear witness to an extraordinary act in one of history's defining dramas - a drama that began in the time of our ancestors when the word went forth from a sliver of land between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea. That hallowed piece of earth, that land of light and revelation is the home to the memories and dreams of Jews, Muslims and Christians throughout the world.
"As we all know, devotion to that land has also been the source of conflict and bloodshed for too long. Throughout this century, bitterness between the Palestinian and Jewish people has robbed the entire region of its resources, its potential and too many of its sons and daughters. The land has been so drenched in warfare and hatred, the conflicting claims of history etched so deeply in the souls of the combatants there, that many believe the past would always have the upper hand.
"Then, 14 years ago, the past began to give way when, at this place and upon this desk, three men of great vision signed their names to the Camp David accords. Today, we honour the memories of Menahem Begin and Anwar Sadat, and we salute the wise leadership of President Jimmy Carter.
"Then, as now, we heard from those who said that conflict would come again soon. But the peace between Egypt and Israel has endured, just so this bold new venture today, this brave gamble that the future can be better than the past must endure.
"Two years ago in Madrid, another president took a major step on the road to peace by bringing Israel and all her neighbours together to launch direct negotiations. And today we also express our deep thanks for the skillful leadership of President George Bush. Ever Since Harry Truman first recognized Israel, every American President - Democrat and Republican - has worked for peace between Israel and her neighbours. Now the efforts of all who have laboured before us bring us to this moment - a moment when we dare to pledge what for so long seemed difficult even to imagine: that the security of the Israeli people will be reconciled with the hopes of the Palestinian people and there will be more security and more hope for all.
"Today, the leadership of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization will sign a declaration of principles on interim Palestinian self-government. It charts a course toward reconciliation between two peoples who have both known the bitterness of exile. Now both pledge to put old sorrows and antagonisms behind them and to work for a shared future, shaped by the values of the Torah, the Koran and the Bible.
"Let us salute, also, today the Government of Norway for its remarkable role in nurturing this agreement. But of all - above all, let us today pay tribute to the leaders who had the courage to lead their people toward peace, away from the scars of battle, the wounds, and the losses of the past toward a brighter tomorrow. The world today thanks Prime Minister Rabin, Foreign Minister Peres and Chairman Arafat.
"Their tenacity and vision has given us the promise of a new beginning. What these leaders have done now must be done by others. Their achievement must be a catalyst for progress in all aspects of the peace process and those of us who support them must be there to help in all aspects. For the peace must render the people who make it more secure. A peace of the brave is within our reach. Throughout the Middle East, there is a great yearning for the quiet miracle of a normal life.
"We know a difficult road lies ahead. Every peace has its enemies - those who still prefer the easy habits of hatred to the hard labours of reconciliation. But Prime Minister Rabin has reminded us that you do not have to make peace with your friends. And the Koran teaches that if the enemy inclines towards peace, do thou also incline towards peace?
"Therefore, let us resolve that this new mutual recognition will be a continuing process in which the parties transform the very way they see and understand each other. Let the skeptics of this peace recall what once existed among these people. There was a time when the traffic of ideas in commerce and pilgrims flowed uninterrupted among the cities of the fertile crescent. In Spain and the Middle East, Muslims and Jews once worked together to write brilliant chapters in the history of literature and science. All this can come to pass again.
"Mr. Prime Minister, Mr. Chairman: I pledge the active support of the United States of America to the difficult work that lies ahead. The United States is committed to ensuring that the people who are affected by this agreement will be made more secure by it and to leading the world in marshalling the sources necessary to implement the difficult details that will make real the principles to which you commit yourselves today.
"Together, let us imagine what can be accomplished if all the energy and ability the Israelis and the Palestinians have invested into your struggle can now be channelled into cultivating the land and freshening the waters, into ending the boycotts and creating new industry, into building a land as bountiful and peaceful as it is holy. Above all, let us dedicate ourselves today to your region's next generation. In their entire assembly, no one is more important than the group of Israeli and Arab children who are seated here with us today.
"Mr. Prime Minister, Mr. Chairman: this day belongs to you. And because of what you have done, tomorrow belongs to them. We must not leave them prey to the politics of extremism and despair, to those who would derail this process because they cannot overcome the fears and hatreds of the past. We must not betray their future. For too long, the young of the Middle East have been caught in a web of hatred not of their own making. For too long, they have been taught from the chronicles of war. Now we can give them the chance to know the season of peace. For them, we must realize the prophecy of Isaiah - that the cry of violence shall no more be heard in your land, nor wrack nor ruin within your borders. The children of Abraham, the descendants of Isaac and Ishmael, have embarked together on a bold journey. Together, today, with all our hearts and all our souls, we bid them shalom, salaam, peace."
Foreign Minister Shimon Peres
"Mr. President, Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen:
"Mr. President, I would like to thank you and the great American people for peace and support. Indeed, I would like to thank all those who have made this day possible. What we are doing today is more than signing an agreement, it is a revolution. Yesterday, a dream; today, a commitment.
"The Israeli and the Palestinian people who fought each other for almost a century have agreed to move decisively on the path of dialogue, understanding and cooperation. We live in an ancient land. And as our land is small, so must our reconciliation be great. As our wars have been long, so must our healing be swift. Deep gaps call for lofty bridges. I want to tell the Palestinian delegation that we are sincere, that we mean business. We do not seek to shape your life or determine your destiny. Let all of us turn from bullets to ballots, from guns to shovels. We shall pray with you. We shall offer you our help in making Gaza prosper and Jericho blossom again.
"As we have promised, we shall negotiate with you a permanent settlement, and with all our neighbours a comprehensive peace - peace for all. We shall support the agreement with an economic structure. We shall convert the bitter triangle of Jordanians, Palestinians and Israelis into a triangle of political triumph and economic prosperity. We shall lower our barriers and widen our roads to goods and guests will be able to move freely all over the places - holy and other places. This should be another genesis. We have to build a new commonwealth on our old soil - a Middle East of the people and a Middle East for the children. For their sake, we must put an end to the waste of arms race and invest our resources in education.
"Ladies and gentlemen: Two parallel tragedies have unfolded. Let us become a civic community. Let us bid once and for all farewell to wars, to threats, to human misery. Let us bid farewell to enmity and may there be no more victims on either side. Let us build a Middle East of hope, where today's food is produced and tomorrow's prosperity is guaranteed - a region with a common market, a Near East with a long-range agenda. We owe it to our fallen soldiers, to the memories of the victims of the Holocaust.
"Our hearts today grieve for the lost life of young and innocent people yesterday in our own country. Let their memory be our foundation. We are establishing today a memory of peace on fresh and old pomp. Suffering is, first of all, human. We also feel for the innocent loss of Palestinian life. We begin a new day. The day may be long and the challenges enormous. Our calendar must meet an intensive schedule. Mr. President, historically, you are presiding over a most promising day in the very long history of our region, of our people.
"I thank all of you, ladies and gentlemen, and let's pray together. Let's add hope to determination as all of us since Abraham believe in freedom, in peace, in the blessing of our great land and great spirit.
"From the eternal city of Jerusalem, from this green, promising lawn of the White House, let's say together in the language of our Bible: peace, peace to him that is far off and to him that is near, saith the Lord, and I will heal him. Thank you."
PLO Executive Committee member Mahmud Abbas
"Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen: In these historic moments, with feelings of joy that are mixed with a maximum sense of responsibility regarding events that are affecting our entire region, I greet you and I greet this distinguished gathering. I hope that this meeting in Washington will provide to be the onset of a positive and constructive change that will serve the interests of the Palestinian and the Israeli peoples.
"We have come to this point because we believe that peaceful coexistence and cooperation are the only means for reaching understanding and for realizing the hopes of the Palestinians and the Israelis. The agreement we will sign reflects the decision we made in the Palestine Liberation Organization to turn a new page in our relationship with Israel.
"We know quite well that this is merely the beginning of a journey that is surrounded by numerous dangers and difficulties. And yet, our mutual determination to overcome everything that stands in the way of the cause of peace - our common belief that peace is the only means to security and stability, and our mutual aspiration for a secure peace characterized by cooperation - all this will enable us to overcome all obstacles with the support of the international community. And here, I would like to mention in particular the US Government, which will shoulder the responsibility of continuing to play an effective and a distinct role in the next stage, so that this great achievement may be completed.
"In this regard, it is important to me to affirm that we are looking forward with a great deal of hope and optimism to a date that is two years from today when negotiations over the final status of our country are set to begin. We will then settle the remaining fundamental issues, especially those of Jerusalem, the refugees and the settlements. At that time, we will be laying the last brick in the edifice of peace whose foundation has been established today.
"Economic development is the principal challenge facing the Palestinian people after years of struggle during which our national infrastructure and institutions were overburdened and drained. We are looking to the world for its support and encouragement in our struggle for growth and development which begins today.
"I thank the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Russian Federation for the part they played and for their efforts and their sponsorship of the peace process. I also appreciate the role played by the Government of Norway in bringing about this agreement and I look forward to seeing positive results soon on the remaining Arab-Israeli track, so that we can proceed together with our Arab brothers on this comprehensive quest for peace. Thank you."
Secretary of State Warren Christopher
"Mr. President; Mr. Prime Minister; Chairman Arafat; Members of Congress; distinguished visitors, guests, friends and colleagues:
"I'm honoured to have witnessed the signing of this agreement on behalf of the United States.
"Millions of people have dreamed of this moment - this moment for this very region. The Israelis and the Palestinians have taken a dramatic step towards a just, lasting and comprehensive peace that can lift the lives of the people of the Middle East. They overcame seemingly insurmountable obstacles in framing the Declaration of Principles and the terms for a mutual recognition. They've broken through the barriers of hatred and fear. Throughout the process, they've demonstrated extraordinary courage and statesmanship. This gives genuine hope that they will complete the journey that has been begun today.
"This achievement was the product of a sustained effort, international in scope and thoroughly bipartisan here in the United States. The foundation for the breakthrough, as the President said, was laid at the Madrid Conference of October 1991, which overcame the impediments to direct Arab-Israeli talks and launched a real peace process. The Madrid success, in turn, could not have been realized without its own foundation, the 1978 Camp David accords and the 1974 and 1975 disengagement agreements involving Israel, Egypt and Syria.
"In the distinguished group here assembled today, I see those responsible not only for today's breakthrough, but also men and women who have toiled for decades in the search for peace in the Middle East. I salute and congratulate each one of you.
"I also salute and congratulate those who have helped at particular times. In particular, I express appreciation to Foreign Minister Holst and his Norwegian colleagues, who worked under very difficult circumstances and made it possible to facilitate the negotiation of the Declaration of Principles. We also owe a debt of gratitude to Foreign Minister Moussa and his Egyptian colleagues and many, many others who gave unstinting help to the peace process. We are all proud of this remarkable achievement, but we also understand that much more remains to be done if this newly planted tree is to bear fruit.
"The United States is committed to a comprehensive peace between Israel and all of its Arab neighbours. We hope and believe that this agreement will spur progress in the talks between Israel and Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon. The United States is prepared to do its part in the negotiations that lie ahead. We will spare no effort in helping the parties turn the agreements at the table into realities on the ground. We will remain a full partner in the search for peace.
"But, certainly, we are not the sole partner. We need the entire international community to join us in this work and to oppose any effort to subvert the peace. This Israeli-Palestinian agreement cannot be permitted to fail. Many, many problems remain to be solved. Today's historic agreement demonstrates that the Middle East does not need to be a cauldron of hostility; it can, instead, be a cradle of hope. Thank you."
Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev
"Mr. President, Mr. Prime Minister, Chairman:
"On behalf of President Yeltsin, I would like to congratulate you and other colleagues and friends here who made possible, through their committed effort and goodwill, this major step on the long road to comprehensive peace in the Middle East.
"I think it's really time to rejoice but no time for euphoria. Unfortunately, this is only the first step - major, but first step - on the long, long road. And I would like to assure you that Russia is one of the co-sponsors, not only witnesses, but co-sponsors. So the peace process will spare no effort together with the United States, with the United Nations and other interested parties to go on - on this road - and not let this major event fail. It is only ironic that, in time when the Middle Eastern peace process seems to be on track - and I'm sure it will move toward lasting peace - there are other forces which threaten security in the region.
"Three days ago I was in Kabul, Afghanistan, and on the Tajik-Afghan border. And even there, we can see those forces of subversion, terrorism and extremism - religious, and not only religious, political extremism - doing their destructive job. I know that in other parts of this region there are also signs of this new danger, and I hope that we will not limit our joint effort only to the peace between Israel and its neighbours, not only for the cause of Palestinians to gain their legitimate rights, but also to see for stability in the whole region. And in this, Russia will be also a true and determined co-sponsor.
"Once again, thank you for the effort done by all of the distinguished Presidents, Foreign Ministers - actual and former. And I hope that further generations of politicians will be not so much doing with the peace, but rather with a peace dividend in the Middle East. It's high time for that. Thank you."
Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin
"President Clinton, the President of the United States, Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen:
"This signing of the Israeli-Palestinian Declaration of Principles here today, is not so easy - neither for myself, as a soldier in Israel's war, nor for the people of Israel; not to the Jewish people in the diaspora, who are watching us now with great hope mixed with apprehension. It is certainly not easy for the families of the victims of the wars, violence, terror, whose pain will never heal, for the many thousands who defended our lives with their own and have even sacrificed their lives for our own. For them, this ceremony has come too late. Today, on the eve of an opportunity - opportunity for peace - and perhaps the end of violence and wars, we remember each and every one of them with everlasting love.
"We have come from Jerusalem, the ancient and eternal capital of the Jewish people; we have come from an anguished and grieving land; we have come from a people, a home, a family, that does not know a single year - not a single month - in which mothers have not wept for their sons. We have come to try and put an end to the hostilities so that our children, our children's children, will no longer experience the painful cost of war, violence and terror. We have come to secure their lives and to ease the soul and the painful memories of the past, to hope and pray for peace.
"Let me say to you, the Palestinians: We are destined to live together on the same soil, in the same land - we, the soldiers who have returned from battles stained with blood; we, who have seen our relatives and friends killed before our eyes; we, who have attended their funerals and cannot look into the eyes of their parents; we, who have come from a land where parents bury their children; we, who have fought against you, the Palestinians. We say to you today in a loud and a clear voice: Enough of blood and tears! Enough!
"We have no desire for revenge. We harbour no hatred toward you. We, like you, are people. People who want to build a home, to plant a tree, to live, live side by side with you in dignity, in empathy, as human beings, as free men. We are today giving peace a chance and saying to you: Enough! Let us pray that a day will come when we all will say farewell to arms. We wish to open a new chapter in the sad book of our lives together, a chapter of mutual recognition, of good neighbourliness, of mutual respect, of understanding. We hope to embark on a new era in the history of the Middle East.
"Today, here in Washington at the White House, we will begin a new reckoning in the relations between peoples, between parents tired of war, between children who will not know war. President of the United States, ladies and gentlemen: Our inner strength, our higher moral values have been derived for thousands of years from the Book of the Books, in one of which correlate, we read:
`To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under Heaven; a time to be born and a time to die; a time to kill and a time to heal; a time to weep and a time to love; a time to love and a time to hate; a time for war and a time of peace'.
"Ladies and gentlemen: The time for peace has come.
"In two days, the Jewish people will celebrate the beginning of a new year. I believe, I hope, I pray that the new year will bring a message of redemption for all peoples; a good year for you, for all of you; a good year for Israelis and Palestinians; a good year for all the peoples of the Middle East; a good year for our American friends, who so want peace and are helping to achieve it. For Presidents and members of previous administrations, especially for you President Clinton and your staff, for all citizens of the world: May peace come to all your homes.
"In the Jewish tradition, it is customary to conclude our prayers with the word Amen - as you said, Amen. With your permission, men of peace, I shall conclude with words taken from the prayer recited by Jews daily and, whoever of you volunteer, I would ask the entire audience to join me in saying, Amen."
Chairman of the Executive Committee of the PLO Yasser Arafat
"In the name of God, the most merciful, the compassionate, Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen: I would like to express our tremendous appreciation to President Clinton and to his Administration for sponsoring this historic event, which the entire world has been waiting for. Mr. President, I am taking this opportunity to assure you and to assure the great American people that we share your values for freedom, justice, and human rights - values for which my people have been striving.
"My people are hoping that this agreement, which we are signing today, will usher in an age of peace, coexistence, and equal rights. We are relying on your role, Mr. President, and on the role of all the countries which believe that, without peace in the Middle East, peace in the world will not be complete.
"Enforcing the agreement and moving toward the final settlement, after two years, to implement all aspects of United Nations [Security Council] resolutions 242 [(1967)] and 338 [(1973)], in all of their aspects and resolve all the issues of Jerusalem, the settlement, the refugees and the boundaries will be a Palestinian and an Israeli responsibility. It is also the responsibility of the international community, in its entirety, to help the parties overcome the tremendous difficulties which are still standing in the way of reaching a final and comprehensive settlement.
"Now, as we stand on the threshold of this new historic era, let me address the people of Israel and their leaders, with whom we are meeting today for the first time. And let me assure them that the difficult decision we reached together was one that required great and exceptional courage.
"We will need more courage and determination to continue the course of building coexistence and peace between us. This is possible. And it will happen with mutual determination and with the effort that will be made with all parties on all the tracks to establish the foundations of a just and comprehensive peace. Our people do not consider that exercising the right to self-determination could violate the rights of their neighbours or infringe on their security. Rather, putting an end to their feelings of being wronged and of having suffered an historic injustice is the strongest guarantee of achieving coexistence and openness between our two peoples and future generations.
"Our two peoples are awaiting today this historic hope and they want to give peace a real chance. Such a shift will give us an opportunity to embark upon the process of economic, social and cultural growth and development, and we hope that international participation in that process will be as extensive as it can be. This shift will also provide an opportunity for all forms of cooperation on a broad scale and in all fields.
"I thank you, Mr. President. We hope that our meeting will be a new beginning for fruitful and effective relations between the American people and the Palestinian people. I wish to thank the Russian Federation and President Boris Yeltsin. Our thanks also go to Secretary Christopher and Foreign Minister Kozyrev, to the Government of Norway and to the Foreign Minister of Norway for the positive part they played in bringing about this major achievement.
"I extend greetings to all the Arab leaders, our brothers, and to all the world leaders who contributed to this achievement. Ladies and gentlemen, the battle for peace is the most difficult battle of our lives. It deserves our utmost efforts because the land of peace - the land of peace yearns for a just and comprehensive peace. Thank you Mr. President, thank you, thank you, thank you."
"We have been granted the great privilege of witnessing this victory for peace. Just as the Jewish people this week celebrate the dawn of a new year, let us all go from this place to celebrate the dawn of a new era, not only for the Middle East, but for the entire world.
"The sound we heard today, once again, as in ancient Jericho, was the trumpets toppling walls - the walls of anger and suspicion between Israeli and Palestinian, between Arab and Jew. This time, praise God, the trumpets herald not the destruction of that city, but its new beginning.
"Now let each of us here today return to our portion of that effort, uplifted by the spirit of the moment, refreshed in our hopes and guided by the wisdom of the Almighty, who has brought us to this joyous day.
"Go in peace. Go as peace-makers."
White House briefing for Arab- and Jewish-American leaders
following the signing of the Declaration of Principles,
Washington, D.C., 13 September 1993
On 13 September 1993, at the White House, the following remarks were made by President Bill Clinton and Vice-President Al Gore before Arab- and Jewish-American leaders after the signing of the Declaration of Principles:
Vice-President Al Gore
"How many times over the last decade have we remarked to each other: `I never thought I'd live to see the day' - whether the fall of the Berlin Wall, or the collapse of the Warsaw Pact?
"But certainly to walk onto the South Lawn of the White House and see Chairman Arafat and Prime Minister Rabin standing on the same platform is to have witnessed a historical event of a magnitude that will rarely occur in our lifetime.
"In a way, it is a very personal event. Each of you here today brings to this event your memories, the passions that have involved you in public life, your active involvement in debate and negotiations, your hopes and prayers - and anxieties. Your perspectives are different; but your hope - our hope - for success is the same.
"Why this time? Why this place? There are people advancing many different theories. But for me, Prime Minister Rabin pointed to the most important reason, which was simply this: that parties in the conflict have said `enough'. No more bloodshed. No more children buried by their parents. It is time for peace.
"No, a stroke of the pen today does not guarantee peace. Nothing can do that. And I'm sure there will be obstacles and setbacks. What it does is create a framework within which Israelis and Palestinians can face these challenges together.
"Many deserve credit for today's event. Yes, the United States and Russia co-sponsored the Madrid peace process, which has at its core the principle that direct talks between the parties was the only road to peace.
"The Government of Norway played a vital role in bringing us to this day, but the most important participants were the Israeli and Palestinian leaders themselves. For, ultimately, only they could take this step. And if there is one thing I would urge here, talking to the leaders in this room, it is to remember and salute the courage on both sides.
"Is the struggle for peace now concluded? On the contrary; it is just beginning. We are at a delicate moment in history. And precisely because it is so delicate, your support is so important. We all know there are many obstacles ahead. But if we go in with hope - if we go in full of admiration for the difficult steps that have been taken and pledging our support - then peace has a chance.
"I was impressed, looking around at the crowd this morning, at the Israeli and Palestinian children sitting in their green shirts in the front row. I couldn't tell which was which. They were all young men and women whose future should - and can - be bright.
"Today we honour the sacrifice on both sides. We mourn the losses of the decades past, but we also celebrate a beginning. And we prepare for a future that will be brighter because of what we saw today."
"I never thought I would enter what may well be the first meeting of its kind in the history of our country - that I would enter this meeting hearing our erudite Vice-President quote Lao Tse. But today, I think we can solve all our problems with China, too, and everything else. All things are possible today.
"I do want to acknowledge the presence, also, of a person here who has done a lot of wonderful work on this and the other foreign policy efforts we've made since I've been President - my National Security Adviser, Tony Lake.
"I want to thank all of you for the work that so many of you have done - many of you for years and years and years - to help make this day come. I know well that there were a lot of people - I couldn't help when I was looking out at that crowd today - I thought there were so many people I wish I had the luxury of just standing up and mentioning, because I knew of the things which have been done to help this day come to pass. And I thank you all.
"I know that most of what needs to be said has already been said, so let me just say this: I am convinced that the United States must assume a very heavy role of responsibility to make this work, to implement this agreement. And that means I must ask you for two or three specific things.
"First of all, this is a difficult time for our country and within our own borders and a lot of our own people are very insecure in a profoundly different way than the insecurities about which we talked today. We simply cannot afford to fold up our tent and draw inward. We can't afford to do it in matters of trade, we can't afford to do it in matters of foreign policy and we certainly can't afford to do it when we have been given a millennial opportunity and responsibility in the Middle East. And so I ask you, together and individually, to do what you can to help influence the Members of Congress whom you know - without regard to their party - to recommit themselves to the engagement and leadership of the United States in the Middle East.
"I have been profoundly impressed by the broad and bipartisan support in the Congress for this agreement. But everyone must understand that this agreement now has to be implemented. A lot of the complicated details are left.
"And frankly, even beyond the financial issues, the United States is perhaps in the best position of any country to help with the mechanics of the election, with the mechanics of the law enforcement issue, the whole series of complex, factual issues which have to be worked through. And if we are leading, we can send Americans who are Jewish or Arab there to work with this process. So the beginning is a sense that there is still the work to be done and a commitment to do it in the Congress.
"Second, there is an enormous amount of work that can be done by private citizens. Many of you have been doing that and giving of your time and money for a very long time. Now you'll be given the chance to do it in a different context, and I hope we will explore ways that this group can stay together - work together and define common projects - because I think that what we do here as Americans together in specific terms as private citizens as well as through government channels will help to shape the attitudes of the people who live in the region.
"And finally, let me say that if there's one lesson I learned in my own life and politics here in America and one that I relearn every time I leave the White House and go out and talk to ordinary citizens in this very difficult time, it is that no public enterprise can flourish unless there is trust and security.
"Indeed, one of the reasons that I think the Vice-President's work on the National Performance Review is so important - if I might just veer off and then come back to this subject - is that because our Government for so long has had not only a budget deficit and an investment deficit, but a general performance deficit, there is this huge trust deficit in America, which makes it difficult for us to do what we ought to do. And when millions and millions of our people are profoundly insecure, it is even more difficult to restore their trust.
"If that is true in America, how much more difficult must it be in the Middle East when the very issues of survival have been confronting people for a very long time now? On the other hand, unless the political leadership which made this agreement winds up stronger for doing it, we won't be able to succeed and move on to the next steps and, ultimately, conclude this whole process in a way that will really get the job done.
"And so the last thing I want to ask you to do - again individually and collectively - is to make as many personal contacts as you can with people in the region to tell them you support this, the United States is going to stand for peace and security and progress, and they should give their trust to this process. It is clear to me now that the major threat to our success going forward is not necessarily all those who wish to wreck the peace by continuing the killing of innocent non-combats but the thin veneer of hope which might be pierced before it gets too deep and strong to be broken.
"So we - you and I - we have a big responsibility to strengthen the support for the people who did this among their constituents - not to interfere in the internal affairs of Israel or the PLO - but simply to make it clear that we are going to be there and that we believe in it, and that we believe it will enhance security, make trust more possible, and make all the parties ultimately, over the long run, more reliable. I think this is a very big deal. And many of you in some ways are in a unique position to manifest your belief in that.
"So those are the things we must do. We have to have the support in the United States for our Government to take the lead in implementing the agreement. We have to have you and more people like you willing to undertake projects individually, as groups, and perhaps jointly - as citizens, private citizens - that will reinforce what has been done. And we must begin immediately to make it absolutely clear that we support this decision and the people who made it for making it, and that we will have more security for doing it.
"If we will do these three things, then we honour what happened here today, and we can validate the feelings we all had. And instead of just being a magic moment in history, it will truly be a turning point. That's what I think it is. Thank you."
Text of the "Common Agenda between Israel and Jordan" [Jordan and Israel],
Washington, D.C., 14 September 1993
The following is the text of the "Common Agenda between Israel and Jordan" [Jordan and Israel], signed on 14 September 1993, at Washington, D.C.:
"The achievement of a just, lasting and comprehensive peace between the Arab States, the Palestinians and Israel as per the Madrid invitation.
"B. Components of Israel-Jordan [Jordan-Israel] Peace Negotiations:
"1. Searching for steps to arrive at a state of peace based on Security Council resolutions 242 [(1967)] and 338 [(1973)] in all their aspects.
"a. Refraining from actions or activities by either side that may adversely affect the security of the other or may prejudge the final outcome of negotiations.
"b. Threats to security resulting from all kinds of terrorism.
"c. i. Mutual commitment not to threaten each other by any
use of force and not to use weapons by one side against the other including conventional and non-conventional mass destructions weapons.
"ii. Mutual commitment, as a matter of priority and as soon as possible, to work towards a Middle East free from weapons of mass destruction, conventional and non-conventional weapons; this goal is to be achieved in the context of a comprehensive, lasting and stable peace characterized by the renunciation of the use of force, reconciliation and openness.
:The above (item c-ii) may be revised in accordance with relevant agreements to be reached in the Multilateral Working Group on Arms Control and Regional Security.
"d. Mutually agreed upon security arrangement and security confidence building measures.
"a. Securing the rightful water shares of the two sides.
"b. Searching for ways to alleviate water shortage.
"4. Refugees and Displaced Persons:
"Achieving an agreed just solution to the bilateral aspects of the problem of refugees and displaced persons in accordance with international law.
"5. Borders and Territorial Matters:
"Settlement of territorial matters and agreed definitive delimitation and demarcation of the international boundary between Israel and Jordan [Jordan-Israel] with reference to the boundary definition under the Mandate, without prejudice to the status of any territories that came under Israeli Military Government control in 1967. Both parties will respect and comply with the above international boundary.
"6. Exploring the potentials of future bilateral cooperation, within a regional context where appropriate, in the following:
"a. Natural Resources:
"- Water, energy and environment
"- Rift Valley development
"b. Human Resources:
"- Drug control
"- Transportation: land and air
"d. Economic areas including tourism
"7. Phasing the discussion, agreement and implementation of the items above including appropriate mechanisms for negotiations in specific fields.
"8. Discussion on matters related to both tracks to be decided upon in common by the two tracks.
"C. It is anticipated that the above endeavour will ultimately, following the attainment of mutually satisfactory solutions to the elements of this agenda, culminate in a peace treaty."
Ceremony for initialling the "Common Agenda",
Washington, D.C., 14 September 1993
On 14 September 1993, at Washington, D.C., during the ceremony for initialling the "Common Agenda", the following remarks were made by the United States Secretary of State Warren Christopher, Ambassador Viktor Posuvaluk, Director of the African and Middle Eastern Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Ambassador Eliakim Rubinstein, Head of the Israeli delegation to the talks with the joint Jordanian-Palestinian delegation, and Ambassador Fayiz Tarawneh, Head of the Jordanian delegation:
Secretary of State Warren Christopher
"This is really an extraordinary week for the Middle East peace process. Yesterday, we witnessed the historic signing of the Israeli-Palestinian Declaration of Principles, an event that has forever altered the contours and chemistry of the entire region. As President Clinton said yesterday when he spoke of the children of the Middle East, `Now we can give them a chance to know a season of peace'.
"Yesterday, I expressed the hope that we could see progress toward a comprehensive peace settlement between Israel and all of her Arab neighbours. Today, we take a very important step toward that very comprehensive peace with the initialling of the Israeli-Jordanian substantive agenda.
"I have here with me today Mr. Viktor Posuvaluk, Director of the African and Middle Eastern Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry. I am very pleased that you are here with me today, Viktor. Together we are delighted to introduce the heads of the Jordanian and Israeli negotiating teams: Ambassador Tarawneh of Jordan here on my right; and Mr. Elie Rubinstein and his Deputy, Mr. Eitan Bentsur, here on my left.
"I don't think that anyone who has been working on these negotiations would regard it amiss for me to pay special tribute to Elie Rubinstein, who has devoted his life to the problem of the peace between Israel and its Arab neighbours since before Camp David and who is one of the leading experts on this subject. We are all in awe of his tireless work on this track as well as on the other tracks.
"I offer my congratulations to each and every member of these delegations. You have created a substantive framework to negotiate and we hope to resolve vital issues between Israel and Jordan - issues such as security, territory, refugees and displaced persons, natural resources and economic cooperation. This framework is a signpost for the progress that we hope and expect will soon come.
"I want to say again, as I said yesterday, that the United States will spare no effort in seeking peace throughout the Middle East. We remain a full partner in the search for peace. We will do all we can to facilitate these negotiations, just as we are for the negotiations on the other track.
"We will be working with these parties, as well as with the Israeli-Syrian parties and the Israeli-Lebanese parties. We believe today's agenda, which has been finalized, will give a strong impetus - a strong momentum - to the other negotiations as well as to this negotiation itself.
"We all share the objective of a just, comprehensive and lasting peace for the Middle East. This week, with yesterday's action and now today's action, we have set a new direction toward a better future for the region. Today's signing moves us a long step down the road toward peace. And news this morning of Prime Minister Rabin's visit to Morocco is yet another sign of the momentum that is building throughout the Middle East on this peace process. It will be a difficult road, but we are taking important steps day by day. And it's a great pleasure for me to join in these very important events."
"Mr. Secretary of State, distinguished heads of delegations, ladies and gentlemen: It gives me special pleasure to represent, here, the Russian co-sponsor. The importance of the present ceremony is outstanding in itself. Agreement on a formal agenda for negotiations gives a long-awaited stimulus for peace between Jordan and Israel, the way to which started in Madrid. This document practically constitutes a full-fledged programme for building peace between your countries, as it comprises central components of good, neighbourly relations.
"Co-sponsors of the peace process are also satisfied with the fact that dialogue between Israel and Jordan and Israel and the Palestinians has borne fruit almost simultaneously. Note in this symbolic achievement, we would like to stress that the success reached yesterday and today has to be supported as soon as possible by progress on all negotiating tracks. Only then would it be possible to provide for a comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East.
"Ladies and gentlemen, the Arabs and the Israelis have paid dearly for peace, but today at last peace is becoming a reality. Naturally, we understand that your breakthrough is but the first step on a long and difficult journey. There is formidable work ahead in order to establish full-scale cooperation, security, and prosperity in the region and to work out and implement all necessary agreements.
"Russia, being your close neighbour and reliable partner, is prepared to continue travelling along this road together with you, bearing its share of responsibility as a great power, as a friend of your countries, and - together with our host, the United States - as a co-sponsor of the peace process. Thank you."
"Mr. Secretary of State, distinguished heads of delegations, ladies and gentlemen: Today, we are making yet another step in the long road to peace between Israel and Jordan within the joint effort, embodied in the Madrid formula, toward a comprehensive peace.
"The direct negotiations between Israel and Jordan have achieved this "Common Agenda", which, obviously, is more than a list of items to be negotiated. It details and summarizes the principles which will guide us in the coming negotiations.
"We have great respect for Jordan, for His Majesty the King and for the Government's efforts toward democratization. We happen to know well Prime Minister Majali, who preceded Dr. Tarawneh as head of the delegation and with whom this Agenda was initially negotiated. We wish him well.
"The Israeli-Jordanian relationship will continue to constitute a major cornerstone in the great enterprise of peace; it has ever been so by the nature of geography and history. Attention should be paid to nurturing it and strengthening it. We should vigorously work credibly and reliably to make the dream - culminating in a treaty of peace - come true.
"Indeed, the good and businesslike atmosphere which has characterized our negotiations so far, including many moments of good humour, should serve to bring our mission to its final end beyond today's milestone. Our negotiation must be widened to cover the concerns and hopes of our peoples, not only politically but also economically and technologically - developing areas which we've already started to explore as a part of our vision.
"On this occasion, we should reflect for a moment on the many victims of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Unfortunately, these sad occurrences are not over. The legacy to all of us is to continue the search for peace and security.
"Let me take this opportunity to thank the members of both our delegations for their hard work. I would like to thank Ambassador Bentsur for leading our delegation during this session. We all are grateful to our host, the Secretary of State - and thank you for your personal kind words - and to the US peace team for their generous assistance and hospitality. We also thank the Russian representatives for their support.
"Tomorrow will mark the beginning of the new year in our calendar. The next days are marked as the `Days of Awe', in which the Almighty examines the deeds of the individual as well as the States. This accountability commands us to show that there are responsibilities. [Speaks in Hebrew.] Thank you very much."
"Secretary Christopher, Ambassador Posuvaluk, Ambassador Rubinstein, Ambassador Bentsur, Dr. Muasher, ladies and gentlemen:
"Jordan and Israel have agreed on a formal agenda to serve as a basis for negotiations on the Jordanian-Israeli track of the bilateral Middle East peace talks. The agenda lists the items and issues to be discussed by the two sides, calling for the achievement of a just, lasting, and comprehensive peace between the Arab states, the Palestinians and Israel based on Security Council resolutions 242 [(1967)] and 338 [(1973)] in all their aspects.
"The Agenda also addresses Jordan's water rights, the achievement of a just political solution to the problem of refugees according to international law, and a settlement of the borders between the two countries with reference to the boundary definition under the mandate. The Agenda also includes issues of future regional economic cooperation to be discussed.
"We hope this first step will be translated through the substantive and lengthy negotiations that will follow into an agreement based on comprehensive peace that will positively transform the lives of all peoples of the area. We, in Jordan, look for a global security arrangement that goes beyond the traditional definition of military security to one that provides for economic security and well-being through upgrading the quality of life for the peoples in the area.
"The historic moment that we witnessed yesterday between the Palestinians and the Israelis gave us faith that progress in the ongoing peace process is achievable. It is our hope that similar progress will be realized on all tracks in the near future.
"Allow me, Mr. Secretary, to express the gratitude and the appreciation of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to you and to all your colleagues who have worked diligently to make this possible. I also would like to extend similar gratitude and appreciation to the Russian Government for its dedicated efforts and support. Thank you very much."
Address by the United States Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs
before the Arab-American Business and Professional Association,
Washington, D.C., 16 September 1993
On 16 September 1993, at Washington, D.C., the United States Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, Mr. Edward P. Djerejian, addressed a meeting of the Arab-American Business and Professional Association. In his speech, Mr. Djerejian explained the United States economic policy in the Middle East. The following is the text of his address:
"In the wake of the momentous events on Monday involving the signing of the Israeli-Palestinian Declaration of Principles, it is timely for us to discuss the Administration's economic and commercial policy toward the Middle East.
"As we reflect on the historic new situation created in the Middle East by this reconciliation of old enemies, we are confronted with the tremendous challenge of making peace work - of assuring that the words on the paper are translated into facts on the ground which lead to improvements in the lives of the Palestinian and Israeli people and of the region as a whole. No longer can the peace process be considered a subject only for political leaders and diplomats engaged in high-level negotiations. The moment has come for all of us - diplomat, businessman, teacher, and farmer - to roll up our sleeves and get down to the hard work of improving the quality of life in the middle East.
"I will return to the special challenges we face in making the recent Israeli-Palestinian agreements achieve their full potential. But, because this audience contains so many who have long devoted themselves to commerce and industry, I want to first give you a broad perspective on the economic policy goals of the Clinton Administration and how they affect the Near East.
"From the very first speech President Clinton made on foreign policy, it was clear that economics would be at the top of our policy priority list. We in the Administration have a strong mandate to promote US business, investment and commercial interests abroad. You might ask how this mandate touches the work of the Near East bureau. After all, I sit in an office better known for shepherding the Middle East peace process along or for managing the diplomatic dimensions of `Desert Storm' and our relations from Morocco across to Iran.
"Whatever the perception may be, a simple truism makes that mandate as relevant to me as to an Assistant Secretary of Commerce. And that is that America's international position depends, in part, on the strength of its economy and - a corollary - that the health of that economy is greatly affected by events abroad. Put another way, in a world where business across borders is growing exponentially, foreign and domestic policy are two sides of the same coin.
"Consider these facts. Our gross national product [(GNP)] tops $6 trillion and our annual exports are approximately $700 billion - or 11 per cent of GNP. Yet since 1987, 55 per cent of our economic growth is directly attributable to exports. The Clinton Administration has recognized the connection between our domestic interests and foreign policy from the start. That's why Secretary Christopher has said:
`At the State Department we have a desk responsible for every foreign country, or virtually every foreign country - the China desk, an Argentine desk, a Russia desk. As Secretary of State, I'm determined that the State Department will also have an `American desk' - and I want to be sitting behind that desk.'
"Economics and American Interests in the Middle East
"The importance of foreign markets to our prosperity makes economic issues a primary concern of American diplomats. Yet there are also some connections of particular concern to my bureau. For instance, one of our foremost foreign policy interests is to maintain unimpeded commercial access to critical natural resources like oil and natural gas. The two oil shocks of the 1970s drove up our inflation rate in that decade, just as steady and then declining oil prices contributed to the low inflation that accompanied an economic expansion in the 1980s.
"A second principal foreign policy objective - advancing the Arab-Israeli peace process and achieving a comprehensive, durable and just peace on all fronts - likewise underscores the close ties between our political, security and economic interests. Our overriding motivation in pursuing this process is to help bring peace and stability to a long-troubled and strategically significant part of the world. Yet, if successful, the process will also bring major economic benefits to the region.
"The history of conflict in the Middle East has acted as a brake on economic growth. It has also introduced, in ways noted by Adam Smith, irrationalities into the regional trading system. For instance, many US firms operate only in part of the region, or they supply different markets from different sources. With the real potential of a resolution to the conflict and with an end to the Arab economic boycott of Israel, we expect significant changes in the way business is conducted in the region. Indeed, in the wake of the historic signing of the Israeli-Palestinian Declaration of Principles and the mutual recognition of Israel and the PLO, we are already seeing reports about investors taking a new look at the region.
"With peace, trade flows will expand - within the region and with extra-regional States like the US. New transportation, communications and energy links will also be needed. In short, there will be a substantial peace dividend, which will include the removal of political obstacles to commerce. With strong ties throughout the region, US firms will be in a position to take advantage of the new opportunities that appear.
"The events of Monday were a breakthrough, but they were also only a beginning. At the White House, the State Department and other agencies of the US Government, we have, since Monday's signing, begun an intensive effort to assess the needs which must be addressed to assure that the Israeli-Palestinian agreements lead to a durable peace. It is quite clear that many in the international community recognize how crucial these efforts will be and are willing to provide the necessary support.
"As President Clinton has pledged, the United States will assume a very heavy role in making the implementation of the agreements successful. The President has already been in touch with a number of heads of Government, both in the Middle East and elsewhere. His message to States in the region: Support the agreement; end the boycott of Israel; begin the process of normalizing relations with Israel.
"We are seeing broad, bipartisan support for the United States to do its part in contributing to the success of the agreements. The United States will do its part in material terms and will use its unique leadership role to facilitate and coordinate assistance for Gaza and Jericho. I can tell you that over the last few days, little has occupied more of my and my colleagues waking hours than establishing a realistic plan of action for this endeavour.
"But this task is not simply one of Governments and international aid agencies. Bringing prosperity to areas of unemployment and poverty depends just as much on your efforts as it does on official assistance. We all have a stake in this process. I urge Arab-Americans, Jewish-Americans and all other Americans to look for ways they can contribute. Many of you here tonight have the skill and experience in entrepreneurship that needs to be fully exploited in this new environment.
"I know that we have some business leaders with us tonight from Gaza and the West Bank. I would certainly hope that their visit to the United States at this particular historical moment has revealed to them the interest of American business people in joining them in the task of investing for the future. And I would also hope that they communicated to their American counterparts the special needs and the practical information necessary to do business in their communities.
"In a diplomatic career, as well as in the life of business, there are normally only a very few moments when one can make a genuine difference in the course of history. It is not too much to say that such a moment is before us in the Middle East.
"I would now like to turn back to the broader role of the US Government and, in particular, the State Department in the pursuit of US economic interests in the Middle East.
"Promoting Our Commercial Interests in the Region: State's Role
"Global Initiatives. We constantly and at high levels promote global initiatives designed to reduce barriers to trade and investment and to ensure that the rights of American business people are not infringed. In conjunction with the US Trade Representative and other agencies, we seek to promote trade by completing the North American Free Trade Agreement [NAFTA] - which will soon go to Congress - and to bring to a successful conclusion the GATT's Uruguay Round. Growth in trade means more jobs at home. We believe NAFTA would generate thousands of additional jobs in the US in the next two years alone. We have also worked to protect the integrity of American patents and copyrights by seeking to persuade all non-members to join the international conventions protecting intellectual property rights.
"Boycott. The State Department has led the official effort to persuade Arab Governments to eliminate the economic boycott of Israel and of those companies doing business with Israel. As part of this effort, we persuaded our partners at the G-7 Summit in Tokyo last July to include a call for an end to the boycott in the Political Declaration. We continue to press our trading partners to take more forceful action against the boycott, especially the secondary and tertiary aspects, which discriminate against firms that wish to do business with both Israel and Arab states. Quite frankly, and given the role of the United States in the Middle East, it is simply incongruous for US businesses to continue to be discriminated against.
"Export Promotion. No less important than our efforts to remove trade barriers have been our export promotion programmes. Given the causal relationship between exports and economic growth, these programmes are all about `jobs, jobs, jobs'.
"Under the direction of President Clinton and Secretary Christopher, our ambassadors overseas view promotion of trade and investment as a key part of their work. Recent reports indicating Saudi interest in purchasing McDonnell Douglas and Boeing airframes and engines to replace their aging fleet of civilian aircraft demonstrate how our partnership with US firms can translate into large orders for goods produced by American workers. When necessary, the highest levels of the Administration stand ready to intervene on behalf of US business. And our embassies around the world are prepared to do so as well.
"Export promotion abroad is coordinated by the ambassador but involves many elements of our diplomatic missions. The economic and commercial sections of our embassies and consulates provide information on a country's economy, commercial culture and discrete business opportunities. Political officers can contribute a risk assessment. Consular officers provide basic information on living or travelling in the country.
"I am proud to report that our diplomatic posts led by our ambassadors in the Near East have thrown themselves actively and effectively into this task. For example, our embassy in Kuwait began export promotion efforts even before coalition forces liberated the country in March 1991, by exploring future trade opportunities for US business. The embassy met with both Kuwaiti decision-makers and representatives of US construction, oil fire-fighting, and environmental clean-up firms and helped establish critical, initial contacts between the two groups. These trade promotion efforts have resulted in the awarding of over 500 construction contracts worth approximately $5 billion - and comprising about one-half of Kuwaiti reconstruction contracts - to US firms between November 1990 and December 1992. The embassy also organized the first trade fair in Kuwait after liberation, entitled `Direct from the USA,' that produced $49 million of `off-the-floor' sales and as much as $120 million of follow-up purchases.
"Our other missions are also doing a splendid job of assisting American business in the region. To take just four recent examples:
"- In Qatar this past summer, the intervention of our ambassador was essential in nailing down a $98 million contract for a US firm to dredge a channel in Doha port;
"- In Israel, our embassy worked hard to overcome trade restrictions so that McDonald's would be able to open a series of restaurants, beginning on October;
"- In Saudi Arabia, our ambassador and his staff worked diligently on behalf of a US firm, helping it secure a multibillion-dollar contract to expand a major oil production and refining facility; and
"- In Abu Dhabi, our chargé d'affaires played a major role in convincing the Government of the United Arab Emirates to choose an American firm to install a cellular mobile telephone system. The contract was worth $23 million and, of course, the American firm will have the inside track for later expansions in the system.
"We are active not just in promoting American sales but in protecting American companies when they run into trouble. For example, since early 1992, the State Department has taken a leading role in resolving approximately 20 long-standing commercial disputes between US businesses and the Saudi Government. Nearly all of these claims - with a total value of more than $500 million - have now been settled. We continue to work to resolve the few remaining cases.
"Political and Security Factors. I hope that you and your colleagues take advantage of and use the resources of the State Department in seeking business abroad. But I hope, too, that you come to understand our other responsibilities that may colour the commercial environment.
"Thomas Jefferson said that money, not morality, is the principle of commercial nations. That certainly is an accurate description of `commercial nations,' but the United States is different. We adhere to both our commercial interests and basic values in pursuing our policies. This is evident as the Administration implements anti-boycott, sanctions and export control legislation and policy - measures that speak both to our national interest and higher principles.
"Regarding the Arab boycott of Israel, firms are enjoined from taking any steps consistent with it - e.g., signing a letter stating that a firm has no business dealings with or in Israel. We support American business and political interests in the area by seeking to end the boycott. And we have had some successes.
"- In June, Kuwait publicly announced that it would no longer discriminate against firms that do business with Israel.
"- Saudi Arabia has reportedly revised its public works contracts; the Government will no longer discriminate against firms that do business with Israel.
"Several other Arab countries have advised us of steps they are taking toward dismantling the boycott.
"President Clinton called for an end to the boycott at the signing of the Israeli-Palestinian Declaration of Principles.
"Sanctions are another consideration in our trade policy. We must convince Iraq, Libya, and others who defy the will of the international community as expressed by the United Nations that the world community will impose severe costs for their unacceptable behaviour. We believe that the UN sanctions remain an effective instrument of pressure on these regimes to compel their compliance with Security Council resolutions.
"Export controls on high-technology products with dual military/civilian uses are another factor. We keep a close watch on these exports and must be sure that proposed exports are consistent with our national security objectives and include appropriate safeguards before approving the sale. I don't think it would be sensible for us to permit a US firm to sell silicon chip manufacturing technology to a European firm without some assurance that the technology wouldn't be resold to, for example, a Libyan or Iranian concern. Nor would we want to allow US firms the unimpeded ability to sell chemicals that could be used to manufacture chemical weapons. The Department of Commerce has the lead on dual-use export controls, and we in the State Department work closely with Commerce.
"The Middle East Market
"I also want to draw attention to various Governments' efforts to liberalize and `modernize' their economies, often with US assistance. These efforts are reducing many of the barriers that have impeded growth in trade between the US and the Middle East.
"- In Morocco, the Agency for International Development is providing technical advice to government officials overseeing the sale of 112 public sector firms to private investors.
"- The Egyptian Government has eliminated most import and investment restrictions, substantially reduced tariffs and implemented full currency convertibility and a floating exchange rate.
"- Israel has made significant strides in economic reform as well, removing restrictions on its capital markets, cutting tariffs and drastically reducing government involvement in the housing sector.
"- Stock exchanges and free trade zones are becoming more common features of the economic landscape in the region.
"All these are `internal' changes arising from a growing recognition that the free market works between than state direction of the economy - changes that will make these countries better markets for US goods and services. But there have been `external' changes as well - changes that have enhanced the role of the United States in the region and, with it, the opportunities for US business. In the wake of `Desert Storm', the end of the Cold War and our role in the Arab-Israeli peace process, many US firms are finding Near East markets more receptive to American products. This is particularly true in the Gulf, where both the public and private sectors are increasingly inclined to `buy American'.
"In short, while most people are focusing on the dramatic political changes now taking place in the Middle East, the economic changes underway in the region deserve our attention as well. This economic transformation presents new opportunities for both the people of the Middle East and for the United States. Peace and economic expansion will not only improve the lives of those who live there but our own welfare as well. As taboos and trade barriers fall, I expect the US private sector to be ideally placed to reap its share of the resulting `peace dividend.'"
Statement by Prime Minister Rabin before the Knesset,
Jerusalem, 21 September 1993
Speaking before the Knesset, on 21 September 1993, at the special session convened to consider the Israeli-PLO agreement, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin made the following statement:
"Honourable President of the State, Mr. Speaker, distinguished Knesset: The Government today submitted to the Knesset the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements for the Palestinians in the territories, as well as the letters exchanged between Israel and the PLO and the agenda for the negotiations between Israel and Jordan. All the documents pertaining to the issue have been placed before the members of the House and there is no other, secret agreement. Everything is out in the open and above-board. The Government will ask for the Knesset's endorsement and will regard the Knesset's decision as a vote of confidence in the Government and its resolutions.
"Distinguished Knesset, in three days every Jew, wherever he may be, will observe the sanctity of Yom Kippur. On this day of national and personal reckoning, as the sun sets and we say the concluding prayer, millions of Jews in every corner of the earth, from Casablanca and Buenos Aires to Melbourne and Kiryat Shemona, will utter the prayer: As you close the gates, open them anew because a new day has dawned.
"The Israeli Government today believes that with the beginning of the new year, a gate has opened - a gate of peace, a gate of blessing. As the prayer goes: Bestow peace, good, blessings, life, favour and grace, charity and mercy upon us and all the people of Israel. On the eve of Yom Kippur 5754, the Israeli Government presents the Israeli people with a chance for peace and, perhaps, for an end to the wars, violence and terror. In the high holidays prayers we also say: who will live and who will die, who will perish and who will not, who will die by water, fire or sword.
"On this bitter day 20 years ago, we felt death by fire and sword on our flesh and skin. All of us, both religious and secular, left-wing or right-wing, Jewish and non-Jewish citizens of Israel experienced one of the toughest hours in our history as a State. In the sands of the Chinese farm in the Sinai Peninsula, on the cliffs of Mount Hermon on the Golan Heights, IDF [Israel Defence Forces] soldiers in the regular army and in the reserves, our best sons, used their bodies to block the waves of tanks and columns of soldiers that threatened our existence. In the battle to defend our lives and homes against the Egyptian and Syrian Armies, 12,569 IDF soldiers and officers fell.
"Today, too, 20 years later, we anguish over the deaths of our dear ones and we share in the sorrow of the bereaved families whose pain does not abate or the scars of their tragedy heal as years go by. On the eve of Yom Kippur, our hearts are with them, and so it will be forever.
"Distinguished Knesset, the Yom Kippur War taught us as well as our enemies the limitations of military power and the possibilities entailed in a political solution. In the wake of the disengagement agreements we signed with Egypt and Syria, the interim agreement we signed with Egypt and the IDF's withdrawal from Egypt and the heart of Syria, we knew and we know to this day long years of peace, quiet and tranquillity in those two cores of fire and war. Thanks to the determination and initiative of the late Prime Minister Menahem Begin - and here with us is the Honourable President of the State, who was a full partner to it - the Israeli Government signed the first and unprecedentedly important peace treaty with Egypt. As for the Israeli-Syrian border, quiet and security have prevailed for almost 20 years and are enjoyed by the population of the Golan Heights.
"Mr. Speaker, distinguished Knesset, for over 100 years we have been seeking to build ourselves a home in the only place on earth that was and will be our home: here, in the land of Israel. For over 100 years we have been seeking to live here in peace and tranquillity, to plant a tree, to pave a road. For over 100 years we have been seeking good relations with our neighbours, a life without fear and dread. For over 100 years we have been dreaming and fighting. In 100 years of colonization, this land experienced a great deal of suffering and blood. We who came back home after 2,000 years in exile, after the Holocaust, which sent the best of the Jewish people to the crematoriums, we who look for a harbour in the storm, a place to rest our head, we stretched out our hand to our neighbours, but this hand was rejected time and again. Time and again it was rejected, but our soul did not tire of seeking peace. Our life in this suffering land was accompanied by salvos of fire, mines and grenades. We planted and they uprooted, we built and they destroyed, we defended and they attacked. Almost every day we buried our dead. One hundred years of terror and war harmed us, but it did not destroy our dream. We dreamed of peace for 100 years.
"Distinguished Knesset, when it assumed office over a year ago, this Government decided to put an end to the terror and war, to try to build a new world in the State, at home, in the family, which did not know even one year or one month of its life in which mothers did not cry for their sons. This Government decided to put an end to the hatred so that our children and grandchildren will not longer suffer the painful price of wars, terror, and violence. This Government decided to safeguard their lives and security, to ease the pain and horrible memories, to pray and help for peace. When we presented the Government to the Knesset over a year ago, we said - and I quote: `This Government is determined to do everything in its power, to forge any path, to do everything possible and impossible for the sake of national and personal security, for the sake of peace and preventing war'. We said then - and I quote: `The road we will tread will be fraught with obstacles, crises, disappointments, tears, and pain'. After all this, however, when we come to the end of this road, we will have a strong country, a good country, a country in which we all share in the big effort and whose citizens we are proud to be.
"We said then: `The new Government shares the current feeling among the people that this is an hour of great opportunities and we will do everything not to miss the opportunities'. We said then: `We owe it to ourselves and our children to see the new world as it is, to study the dangers, check out the chances, and do everything so that the State of Israel becomes part of the changing world'. We must rid ourselves of the feeling of isolation that gripped us for almost a quarter of a century. We must join the international march of peace, reconciliation and cooperation that is currently storming across the entire globe. Otherwise, we will be the last and only ones waiting behind at the station.
"We said then that the main goal of the new Government will be to promote the making of peace and to take feverish steps to bring about the end of the Arab-Israeli conflict. We will do that on the basis of the Arab States' and the Palestinians' recognition of Israel as a sovereign State and of its right to live in peace and security. We sincerely believe that this is possible and imperative and that it will come.
"Members of the Knesset, we said then the following words - and I quote: `The Government will propose to the Arab States and the Palestinians to pursue the peace negotiations based on the format consolidated in the Madrid conference as the first step on the way to a permanent solution'. We will discuss the implementation of autonomy in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza district. We do not intend to waste precious time. Within a short period of time, we will open and pursue the talks in order to lower the flame of hostility between the Palestinians and the State of Israel.
"The day we presented our Government we also said: `Holding such negotiations on the issue worry those among us who chose to settle in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza District'. I hereby inform you that this Government, by means of the IDF and the other security forces, will be responsible for the security and welfare of the inhabitants of those areas.
"On the question of Jerusalem, we said that this Government, just like all its predecessors, believes there are no differences of opinion in this House over the eternalness of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. United and unified Jerusalem is not negotiable and will be the capital of the Israeli people under Israel's sovereignty and the subject of every Jew's yearnings and dreams for ever and ever.
"Members of the Knesset, 14 months ago we presented an IOU to the Knesset, the voters and the Israeli people. We promised to try to bring peace to this land. In the time that has elapsed since then, we did not close any doors or miss any opportunity. We checked out every crack and hint. We did not forestall any chance of attaining peace or interim arrangements that would offer a normal life to both peoples in this land.
"We conducted negotiations with the delegations of Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and the Palestinians. During the negotiations, and in fact from their beginning, it transpired that the only address for negotiations with the Palestinians was PLO-Tunis. We could have behaved like ostriches; we could have lied to ourselves and buried our heads in the sand. We could have claimed that Faisal al-Husseini, Hanan Ashrawi and others represent the residents of the territories while ignoring the real party that stood behind them. We decided not to behave in this manner. We knew very well who stood behind them and the Israeli public is also perfectly aware of this. We have no desire to deny the fact that this is a merciless terrorist organization, an organization that dispatched the terrorists who murdered the children in Avivim and Ma'alot, who shot the guests in Tel Aviv's Savoy Hotel, who attacked the innocent victims riding the bus on the Tel Aviv-Haifa coastal road and who committed hundreds of other acts of murder and terror. This organization has shed the blood of hundreds of our beloved citizens: the blood of Ofra and Tal Moses, members of the family of Abie Moses from Alfey Menashe; the blood of innocent people whose only fault was being Jewish.
"Knesset members, we cannot choose our neighbours and our enemies, including the cruellest of them. We must deal with what we have: the PLO, which has fought against us and against whom we fought. Today we are looking for a way to achieve peace together with this organization. We can shut all the doors, cease any attempt to achieve peace. Morally, we are entitled not to sit at the negotiating table with the PLO, not to shake the hands of those who have wielded knives or pulled the trigger. We could have rejected the proposals of the PLO with disgust, in which case we would have unwittingly been among those responsible for the continuation of the vicious circle in which we have been forced to live so far: war, terrorism and violence.
"We chose to adopt another way, one which offers a chance and hope. We decided to recognize the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian people to the negotiations in the framework of the peace talks. We have known, and we still know, what a heavy load we are carrying from the past. We took this step only after the PLO undertook, in its letters to the Prime Minister, the following: recognition of Israel's right to live in peace and security and a commitment to settle any future controversy by peaceful means and through negotiations. The PLO has undertaken to denounce and put an end to terrorism and violence in Israel, in the territories and elsewhere. I want to say here that since the agreements were signed, the PLO has not carried out even one act of terrorism. The PLO has undertaken to enforce an end to terrorism and violence by its members and to punish the violators. The PLO has undertaken to renounce the clauses of the Palestinian Covenant that negate Israel's right to exist and the peace process and to bring about their formal cancellation by the pertinent institution.
"In Washington, Foreign Minister Shimon Peres signed, on Israel's behalf the Declaration of Principles agreement for the interim period only. This agreement, which permits the Palestinians to run their affairs, safeguards the following issues for Israel: unified Jerusalem remains under Israel's rule, and the body that will run the lives of the Palestinians in the territories will have no authority over it. The Israeli settlements in Judea, Samaria and Gaza will remain under Israel's rule without any change whatsoever in their status. The authority of the Palestinian Council will not apply to any Israeli in the areas of Judea, Samaria and Gaza. The IDF will continue to bear overall responsibility for the security of the Israeli settlements in the territories, the security of the Israeli settlements in the territories, the security of every Israeli staying in the territories and for external security - namely, for the defence of the current confrontation lines along the Jordan River and for the Egyptian border. The IDF will deploy in all areas of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza District on the basis of these missions. All the issues pertaining to the permanent arrangement will be put off for the negotiations that will begin two years after the date stipulated in the agreement, while preserving the Israeli Government's freedom to determine its positions regarding the permanent solution. This means that the Declaration of Principles leaves all the options open on this issue.
"The agreement on the interim period in Gaza and Jericho will be implemented before the establishment of the elected Palestinian Council, which will direct the affairs of the Palestinians in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip. The Council will be established only after we agree with the Palestinians about its structure, composition and functions. The target date for elections is nine months after the Declaration of Principles goes into effect. Israel will regard the Gaza-Jericho First stage as a sort of test of the Palestinians' ability to implement the agreement on the Declaration of Principles.
"I would like to repeat here what I said in Washington last week - and I quote: `We are destined to live together on the same soil, in the same land. We, the soldiers who have returned from the battles stained with blood; we, who have seen our relatives and best friends killed before our eyes; we, who have attended their funerals and cannot look into the eyes of their parents and their orphans; we who have come from a land where parents bury their children; we, who have fought against you, the Palestinians; we say to you today in a loud and clear voice: enough of blood and tears, enough. We harbour no hatred towards you. We have no desire for revenge. We, like you, are people who want to build a home, to plant a tree, to love, to live with you side by side, in dignity, in empathy, as human beings, as free men. Today we are giving peace a chance and saying to you in a clear voice: enough, no more'.
"Mr. Speaker, distinguished Knesset, we have no intention or desire to hide the truth from the Knesset members and the Israeli public. In addition to the great advantages, the expected peace also harbours dangers. We are aware of these dangers and will do everything necessary to minimize them. At the same time, we believe the risks are calculated and will not harm Israel's security and existence. In any event, the might of the IDF - the best army in the world - is available for our use if, God forbid, we are faced with such a challenge. Today we are looking forward to the good chances, to days without worries and nights without fears, to a developing economy and a prosperous society. If and when the long desired peace arrives, our lives will completely change. We will no longer live only by our swords.
"On the eve of the New Year, after 100 years of violence and terrorism, after wars and suffering, today there is a good chance to open a new chapter in Israel's history. There is a chance for putting an end to tears. Flower buds and new horizons are opening up for the Israeli economy and society. Above all, I want to tell you that this is a victory for zionism, which is now recognized by its most adamant and bitter enemies. There are chances for good relations with our neighbours, for an end to the bereavement which has afflicted our homes, for an end to war.
"I call on all the Knesset members to give us an opportunity to exhaust this great chance. Knesset members, let the sun rise. My best wishes to you and all of Israel for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur."
Address of the United States Assistant Secretary of State for Near
Eastern Affairs at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy
on the question of the multilateral negotiations,
Washington, D.C., 22 September 1993
On 22 September 1993, at Washington, D.C., in his statement at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy entitled "The Multilateral Talks in the Arab-Israeli Peace Process" the United States Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, Mr. Edward P. Djerejian, said:
"Last week, we were witnesses to history. The signing at the White House of the Israeli-Palestinian joint declaration was one of those seminal events which transform the international landscape. Like all major events, the signing will have many consequences - intended and unintended.
"Today I would like to focus on one of the intended consequences of the Israeli-Palestinian breakthrough - the synergism between the two tracks of the Madrid peace process. Secretary Christopher, in announcing the Conference to Support Middle East Peace, said we would be `building on the Madrid framework.' He was referring to the multilateral - the `other' track of the peace process.
"In planning Madrid and its aftermath, we pushed for two negotiating tracks to address the sets of problems which exist in the Middle East. The first track, the bilaterals, was and is meant to resolve the core bilateral issues at the heart of the Arab-Israeli dispute: namely, land, peace and security. As you know, this track is broken down into separate bilateral negotiations between Israel on the one hand and, respectively, the Syrians, the Lebanese, and the Jordanians and Palestinians on the other. Clearly the bilaterals have been the focal point of public attention and interest.
"The second track, the multilateral, was designed to address functional issues on a region-wide basis. It was designed to foster broader human contact between Israelis and Arabs. In short, it was designed to be an essential complement to the bilaterals - to tackle those regional problems that are themselves a source of tension and instability. Not surprisingly, foreign policy professionals and the general public did not pay a great deal of attention to the multilateral. And participants in this process were not unhappy to avoid the glare of publicity - to keep the focus on the bilaterals and to encourage the thoughtful exploration of regional concerns in a constructive atmosphere.
"Now, precisely because of this first success in the bilaterals, the importance and the profile of the multilateral will inevitably rise. The work that we have been doing on this track will, in some instances, be drawn into the bilateral track and, more significantly, the mechanism we established for running the multilateral will itself feature in our efforts to implement the Israeli-Palestinian Declaration of Principles.
"But I am getting ahead of myself. It might be useful for me first to discuss the origins of this `other' track, describe the progress the multilateral working groups have made to date, and then link the work that has been done with the urgent multilateral effort to support the recent agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.
"The Origins of the Multilaterals
"In preparing the multilateral track for Madrid, we had a vision of the fruits of peace in terms of economic, human, social, developmental, environmental, and security needs. We recognized that many functional problems affected the entire region, from the Maghreb to the Gulf. In order to address these problems effectively, we needed as broad a regional participation as possible. With this in mind, we extended invitations to all regional States, save those - like Libya and Iraq - whose policies had put them outside of the community of nations.
"We recognized, too, that in order to deal comprehensively with the problems of the Middle East, we had to include extra-regional parties. We realized it would be essential to draw on the wealth of expertise, energy, and goodwill available around the globe. We therefore invited the Europeans, Japan, Canada, China, and many others. In doing this, we understood that the US could not afford to shoulder the entire promise and obligation of peace as it had done at Camp David.
"Accordingly, the parties at the Madrid Conference established the multilateral track and called for an organizing meeting to be held in Moscow. In January 1992, 36 parties, including 11 Arab States and Israel, attended the meeting. Take note of the number of Arab participants - 11. The bilaterals established negotiations between Israel and four Arab partners. The multilateral brought the Israelis into contact, from the very start, with seven additional Arab countries. This demonstrates that the concept of the multilateral - inter alia, to facilitate and normalize Israeli-Arab contact - was sound.
"The historic impact of this new departure came home to me while co-chairing with my Russian colleague the first multilateral Steering Group meeting in Lisbon in May of 1992. Around the large oval table for the first time were Israeli delegates sitting next to the Egyptians, Saudis (representing the GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council]), Tunisians (representing the Maghreb), Jordanians and Palestinians. A new situation was emerging.
"The Working Groups
"Let me turn to the operation of the working groups. The parties in Moscow agreed to establish five working groups on issues that are regional in scope and vital to establishing and maintaining peace: arms control and regional security, environment, economic development, refugees and water resources. The Steering Group, co-chaired by the US and Russia, was created to monitor the multilateral process.
"It is not surprising - in fact, it was planned - that several of the groups, especially security, refugees, and water resources, would address matters that are also central to bilateral negotiations. We believed that the multilateral working groups could do valuable spade work in preparation for eventual bilateral agreements. We wanted to be ready to mobilize resources - both financial and technical - as soon as agreements were reached. Now we are reaping the benefit of that foresight.
"Arms Control and Regional Security. The US and Russia, the co-sponsors of the Madrid process, chair the Arms Control and Regional Security Working Group. The acronym is ACRS. The realities of this heavily armed region dictated the approach we took in this working group. Decades of war had produced great mutual distrust and little experience with arms control or even confidence-building measures in the Middle East. Indeed, outside of a handful of countries - most notably Israel and Egypt -there were few officials or even scholars in the region familiar with these concepts.
"The result was an approach at the first and, even, second working groups that sought to provide the ABCs of arms control. Equally important was providing an atmosphere in which professionals responsible for the security of their respective countries, could establish a relationship and learn, little by little, to trust each other. From there, the group moved on to explore more specific arms control and confidence-building measures that might be applied to the region. It has held workshops on verification, maritime measures, information exchange and communications. (In fact, the first peace process event held in the region was a workshop in Egypt.) Down the road, we can see ACRS looking to implement some confidence-building measures on a region-wide basis in the areas of communications and maritime search and rescue.
"Economic Development. The EC leads the Economic Development Working Group, with the US and Japan as co-organizers. Even before the recent breakthrough, the Economic Development Group was focused on the economic problems of Gaza and the West Bank as well as regional concerns. A World Bank study done for the group has become a valuable foundation for the economic work essential to support the peace process.
"While the details of an assistance programme need to be worked out, this study provided a coherent and timely framework for rational decision-making. It suggests ways to set priorities and indicates the magnitude of the task before us. Without it, we would be scrambling now to catch up to the dramatic events of last week.
"The Economic Working Group had not restricted itself to studies and hypothetical discussions, however. Well before news of the Israeli-Palestinian accord broke, members of the Economic Development Working Group had begun projects to lay the groundwork for Palestinian self-government. The US, for example, had taken the lead in training Palestinians to administer a civil service, administer a tax system, and make a sewage system work. This is essential work. These people will provide the mid-level expertise required by the institutions the Palestinians will develop - the institutions that will give substance to the vision of peace offered by the Declaration of Principles.
"Environment. Of the five groups, the Environment Working Group, led by the Japanese, with the US and EC as co-organizers, has the least political baggage. Early on, the regional participants identified environmental needs. A consensus emerged to address the very real problem of desertification -the spread of the desert - that affects all the parties of the region. A number of the regional parties also urged this working group to focus on solid and liquid waste disposal urgently.
"The mode of operation has been to bring experts - not politicians or diplomats - from the region together at workshops and set them to addressing the problems. What we found was that when we put these experts together they solved problems. Beyond the glare of the political klieg lights, we created an environment where scientists spoke a common language. In this forum, Israelis, Palestinians and other Arabs started working together on such critical environmental issues as hazardous waste disposal and oil spills.
"When these scientists went home, they told their political leadership that Arabs and Israelis can work together on problems of mutual concern. This `bottom-up' approach - the technicians telling the politicians that it is not only possible but necessary to work with old adversaries - has been replicated a number of times in the multilateral. That was precisely what we had in mind in setting this process in motion.
"Refugees. Canada has the lead in the Refugee Working Group. This has been a particularly contentious group since it deals with some of the most emotionally charged problems in the Arab-Israeli conflict - issues like family reunification. Indeed, we recognized from the beginning that on such sensitive questions the parties would have to arrive at political agreements bilaterally. Now Israelis, Palestinians and Jordanians have agreed to do just that. Both the Israeli-Palestinian accord and the Israel-Jordan agenda commit the parties to negotiate on these sensitive issues.
"We hope and expect that the bilateral commitments will enable this working group to move ahead more quickly. Even before the bilateral breakthrough, the refugee group had carved out some aspects of the problem to work on: training and job creation, public health and child welfare and social and economic infrastructure.
"Water Resources. As with the refugee problem, the core issue of water resources - water rights -will be the subject of bilateral negotiations. The Israeli-Palestinian accord and the Israel-Jordan agenda call for negotiations on water rights.
"As a result, the US-led Water Resources Working Group, has focused on a variety of functional issues, such as sector training needs, river basin management, and water data availability. Through workshops, field trips and feasibility studies, the group has laid the groundwork for important regional projects. With the breakthrough in the bilaterals, it might be possible to move forward on projects, like desalination plants, in the region.
"I have quickly described the progress to date in the three rounds of multilateral working group meetings. Yet there is one more achievement that deserves mention. We agreed in the last Steering Group meeting in Moscow that two of the working groups in the fourth round, which is scheduled for October and November, will be hosted in the Arab world. The Refugee Working Group meets in Tunisia and the Environmental Working Group in Egypt. This means, of course, that Israelis will be meeting with 11 other Arab delegations - and others - in two Arab venues. Once again, the multilaterals are brushing aside long-standing barriers to regional normalization.
"In conceiving the multilaterals, we hoped to create a web of functional interests vaulting political fault lines. We imagined that, as countries prepared for the working groups, they would create institutions and interest groups that understood the need for this process to succeed and would work toward that end. And we were right. Early on, it was evident that for most participants the multilaterals were seen as a `win-win' situation. All could gain, and all have.
"While pleased with the barriers that have fallen in the multilaterals, we would still like to broaden regional participation. Syria and Lebanon have, to date, declined to join the multilateral process until there is concrete progress in the bilateral negotiations. We hope recent developments will move this process forward so that Syria and Lebanon will take part in this important effort. We are once again encouraging them to join the multilateral process.
"The Breakthrough and The Multilaterals
"The achievements that I have described predate the signing of the Israeli-Palestinian joint Declaration of Principles. But that breakthrough inevitably affects the work programme and the prominence of the multilaterals.
"At the signing ceremony on the White House lawn 13 September, President Clinton pledged that the US would take the lead in marshalling the necessary resources to support the breakthrough. Secretary Christopher outlined our approach in his speech this week in New York. To fulfil this pledge, the US will convene a donors' conference in Washington early next month. The conference will be held within the framework of the multilateral Steering Group. The instrument that we put in place to advance the multilateral track now becomes the vehicle for implementing the first breakthrough in bilateral negotiations.
"The use of the Steering Group is no accident. We had foreseen the economic needs that would need to be addressed as part of our efforts to make peace. At the Steering Group session in Moscow last July, I negotiated, with Faisal Husseini, Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Beilin and other members of the group, language for the final statement of the session. The statement `recognized the particular needs of the Palestinians as they moved towards interim self-government arrangements'. It also expressed the hope that `additional funds will be made available to the Palestinians to meet their current pressing needs and responsibilities.' Now that is coming to pass.
"Secretary Christopher and Treasury Secretary Bentsen, along with their Russian counterparts, are inviting the Israelis, the Palestinians, the Europeans, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Canada, the Nordic countries and others to this event. The World Bank will participate and, within the Madrid framework, will play a leading role. The UN also has a key contribution to make. There is no intention to exclude any country or organization which can make a genuine contribution. Parties will be invited who plan to extend material assistance beyond any levels they currently provide. As Secretary Christopher said:
`The purpose of this Conference will be to mobilize resources needed to make the agreement work. The international community must move immediately to see that the agreement produces tangible improvements in the security and daily lives of the Palestinians and the Israelis'.
"In this effort, one of the first tasks will be to gauge the amount of assistance needed in Gaza and the West Bank. While there are several varying estimates, perhaps the most comprehensive is the one prepared by the World Bank that I referred to earlier. According to that study, an additional $3 billion will be needed over the next 10 years.
"In any case, all experts agree on the needs that must be addressed. We are looking to produce visible results immediately in terms of creating employment. We want to mobilize resources for the longer-term challenge of putting in place an adequate physical infrastructure that can ensure clean water, good transportation and the availability of electric power. We intend to pursue projects that build roads, schools, hospitals and housing. We will provide technical assistance aimed at establishing democratic institutions, strengthening credit institutions and tax collection capabilities and improving agricultural methods. We expect to draw on the resources of UNRWA, UNDP, and other organizations that have experience and ideas for particular projects in Gaza and the West Bank. Equally important, we will encourage and work with the American private sector to play an important role.
"Given the positive response we have received to date from countries and organizations around the globe, we believe that these needs can be met. We are also prepared to contribute our fair share. Working with the Congress, we expect to provide a two-year assistance package valued at $250 million.
"Thus far, I have focused on the intended actions of the US and other donors. But it is important to keep in mind the role of the Israelis and the Palestinians in this process. The Declaration of Principles enters into force 13 October. At that time, the parties are to establish an Israeli-Palestinian Economic Cooperation Committee. This is absolutely essential. The Palestinians need to create structures to receive and to coordinate with the Israelis the receipt of assistance and to ensure that it is put to productive use.
"The overall effort that we are engaged in is an exercise in coalition-building on a grand scale. We have been coalition builders before - most recently in the Gulf war. But this coalition is something new. As Secretary Christopher said, this is a coalition for peace - to help establish and stabilize peace in one of the world's most important and volatile regions.
"The stakes in this new endeavour are every bit as high as in our previous efforts at coalition-building. The Israeli-Palestinian Declaration of Principles marked the first major step toward the vision of a just and durable Middle East peace glimpsed at Madrid. Economic and social development and growth are essential to consolidate the peace agreement. The role of this multilateral effort is nothing less than to secure that first step and ensure that the structure and resources are in place to support further steps toward a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace on all fronts. What a worthy venture this is. For the sake of peace in the Middle East, let us all work to make it a success."
Conference to Support Middle East Peace,
Washington, D.C., 1 October 1993
The Conference to Support Middle East Peace was held at the United States Department of State on 1 October 1993. It was co-sponsored by the Russian Federation and the United States. The co-chairmen on the Russian side were Minister for Foreign Affairs Andrei Kozyrev and Minister of Finance Boris Fyodorov. On the American side, the co-chairmen were Secretary of State Warren Christopher and Secretary of the Treasury Lloyd Bentsen. The conference was attended by 46 delegations, including the United Nations.* The following are some of the statements made during the conference:
Vice-President Al Gore
"Ladies and gentlemen, good morning. I would like to begin by acknowledging, with gratitude, Secretary Christopher and Secretary Bentsen and Minister Fyodorov, representing our co-host, the Russian Federation. And may I formally welcome each and every participant here for this important conference. You are arriving in Washington at a time when this city is still in the afterglow of the wonderful agreement that was signed on the South Lawn of the White House just a few weeks ago.
"Those of you who have been over to the West Wing of the White House - and I see a great many here who have visited there on a regular basis - you know that it's the custom at the White House to decorate the walls with photographs of the big events of the month. Usually the pictures are up for a few weeks and then they come down and are replaced by a new batch. Eventually, this month's pictures will come down from the wall too, but they will occupy a permanent place in our memory and a permanent place in our hearts: the images of the Palestinian, Egyptian and Israeli youths in their green shirts with their seeds of peace sign; pictures of the three leaders walking across the South Lawn; and, of course, Prime Minister Rabin and Chairman Arafat leaning forward in front of President Clinton to accomplish the famous handshake.
"All of us there knew that we had witnessed a watershed event in history - a stunning demarcation line between war and peace, between despair and hope. As cheers rang out spontaneously on the lawn at the moment of the handshake, everyone there knew that just as the crumbling of the Berlin Wall had instantly become a metaphor, inspiring hope that all of the other walls that need to come down could eventually come down, so in the same way this historic handshake would become a metaphor for all of the other efforts at reconciliation which now seem at times impossible in our world, but must occur and can occur if this one did occur. And it did.
"The leaders of Israel and of the Palestinians have made historic and courageous choices. Prime Minister Rabin spoke for us all when he said, `Enough of blood and tears. Enough'. And so I say to those Israelis and Palestinians who are here today, your actions have earned you the respect and admiration and gratitude of peace-loving people all around the world.
"Today, the international community is also making a choice. We have chosen to support the agreement reached between Israel and the Palestinians. We support it politically and we support it economically. This conference demonstrates the strength of our commitment. When I look around this room and see the vast array of nations represented, I feel certain that the whole world will understand our message that we intend to see peace prevail in the Middle East.
"This conference will play a critical role in supporting implementation of the Israeli-Palestinian Declaration. But the United States believes this conference should also play an ongoing and much larger role than just seeing the agreement survive. We believe it can support and facilitate further progress in the peace process for all States involved in the peace negotiations.
"The presence of so many parties from inside and outside the Middle East thus sends a strong signal of hope. By itself it lends support to the peace process - support that is essential as Israelis and Palestinians work to create a firm economic foundation for peace.
"We are prepared to do our part. As President Clinton has said, the United States anticipates contributing $500 million over the next five years to help meet the economic needs associated with implementing the Israeli-Palestinian agreement. The money is urgently needed, both in the Jericho and Gaza regions. For that reason, we will fund a range of activities on which we can begin quickly, and, in some cases, we will start almost immediately. These include school reconstruction, hospital renovation and housing.
"We're not alone. Other countries have already announced significant contributions. We hope still others will be announced at today's conference. For those who have already announced contributions and for those who will make such announcements today, the United States offers its sincerest thanks. The world offers thanks.
"It's hard today to find money for even the worthiest causes. How well we all know that. Your decisions, therefore, are the result of a commitment to the cause of peace that does not end with rhetoric. It would be hard to think of a more worthwhile cause. The Palestinian people need our help. They need food. They need clothing. They need medicine. They need help establishing the public sector infrastructure that will be the key to long-term economic development. They need help empowering the private sector through investments. Governments can play a crucial role in creating an environment where private investment will flourish.
"But there are limits on what Governments can do. Ultimately, the question of how well market forces can affect real people living everyday lives will determine economic success or failure. This lesson is not lost on the private sector.
"On a personal note, on the day of the agreement on the South Lawn, we had a briefing afterward in the White House for a group of Arab-American leaders and Jewish-American leaders both in the same room - in fact, the first time the two groups had been in the room as groups. Because the schedule had dragged on a bit after the South Lawn ceremony, these two groups of people were required to wait for an hour before the briefing began; and during that hour, they got to know one another as human beings, as individuals, as men and women. And by the time those of us briefing them arrived, the mood in that room was electrifying. Reconciliation on a personal level had taken place among dozens of individuals, echoing the symbolic and real reconciliation affirmed by the handshake on the South Lawn.
"In that atmosphere, I mentioned this possibility of private investment and instantly the response from individuals on the Arab and Jewish sides of the room - by then they were intermingled - but the reaction from both groups was spontaneous, enthusiastic and immediate. And I'm told that since that time there has been a great deal of conversation in cities and communities all across the United States - conversations aimed at reconciliation and cooperative efforts to provide economic support from the private sector for the reconstruction and economic activities that are necessary in Gaza and Jericho.
"And these commitments do not stem just from altruism. They stem from the view of successful investors that there is a reservoir of skill and talent, not to mention markets, worth exploring there. The President has asked me to take the lead in encouraging this private process and to offer our good offices in support of the effort.
"In the coming weeks, I intend to take counsel with others who are interested in helping to bring together business leaders and others in the Jewish- and Arab-American communities in this country, and I feel that, ultimately, this is something truly worthy of the talents and efforts of these communities and could be a substantial source of support for the peace process both materially and spiritually. Meanwhile, I urge all of you to encourage similar private sector initiatives in your own countries and I urge one thing more before I close. In order to realize the promise of the future, it is necessary to shed the vestiges of what has been our past.
"There are many things, including the boycott of Israel, that have no place in a world seeking peace. The decision to take the first steps toward peace required exceptional courage. It does take courage to compromise. It takes courage to surrender some of yesterday's demands in exchange for the promise of a much brighter tomorrow.
"That meeting of Arab- and Jewish-Americans, held only a few hours after the signing, was memorable and nothing short of miraculous. I looked out at that group and one man stood up who will remain in my memory - he identified himself as a Gazan. He looked across the seats to the representatives of Jewish groups and across almost a half-century of bitterness, and he said, "I say shalom".
"One of the Jewish leaders, a professor, quoted Hebrew scripture from memory with deep emotion and then translated it into English, and it was the passage where the Lord says, `Choose between - you have a choice between life and death; therefore choose life'. And she said, `We have made choices today'.
"I call on all of the parties represented here to do all you can to reward the courage on both sides encapsulated in that wonderful handshake. We must do everything in our power to assure that one day Palestinians and Israelis will look back on 13 September 1993, a sunny day on the South Lawn of the White House, with pride and satisfaction and that - when the pictures have been taken down from the West Wing walls, when the photographers have moved on to record the next crisis or the next celebration, and when most of the names of those who worked so hard to achieve this declaration have been, regrettably, forgotten - both peoples, living in harmony and prosperity, will remember and know that they and their leaders did not take the risk for peace in vain; because that risk was supported by other leaders from countries all over the world - who, in their own way, also showed the courage called for at a historic time and supported the peace process.
"Thank you for being here, and thank you for your help."
Secretary of State Warren Christopher
"Distinguished delegates and friends: For those of you who may not have had a chance to meet me, I'm Warren Christopher, Secretary of State and one of the co-chairs of this event.
"The signing of the peace agreement two weeks ago challenges all of us to seize the moment and convert it into a true turning point in the troubled history of the Middle East. When that moving ceremony ended and the camera lights faded, the essential and practical task of building peace had just begun.
"We're here today representing people from the region and all around the world to help those who had the courage to sign the Israeli-Palestinian agreement. Indeed, we must help them transform the Declaration of Principles into new realities on the ground.
"For the Israelis and the Palestinians, the urgent and hard work of reconciliation and reconstruction has only begun. We must help them demonstrate the tangible benefits of peace and we must do so quickly if the advocates of peace are to be strengthened and the enemies of peace are to be isolated and discredited.
"By meeting here today and, more importantly, by agreeing to act now, we send a powerful signal to the Arabs and Israelis alike that the international community will not let peace fail.
"Forty-six countries and organizations are represented here today from all around the world - one of the first donors' conferences, indeed perhaps the first in my knowledge, where people have volunteered to attend. And let me say, we're grateful to all of you for attending.
"I know that no one will mind if I single out for particular appreciation the attendance of Norway and Foreign Minister Holst, who contributed so much to making the ceremony on the White House lawn possible and, in effect, this day possible.
"Your presence here and your immediate response to our invitation clearly demonstrate an outpouring of moral and political support for the agreement and for a comprehensive peace settlement.
"Of course, our responsibilities do not end with the celebration. Now we must all deliver the necessary economic backing. Our pledges must be real, and they must be translated rapidly. The structures we create to organize and dispense the assistance must be flexible and effective and the Israeli-Palestinian structures for receiving assistance must be capable of absorbing it and using the assistance efficiently and credibly.
"This conference demonstrates our collective recognition of a historic moment and the need to do all we can to make it an irreversible turning point in history. This extraordinarily diverse gathering of nations and institutions testifies to the breadth and the depth of that commitment. It shows that those who make the political investment in negotiations will reap the dividends of international support. Those, on the other hand, who choose violence and rejectionism will find only isolation and failure.
"The United States is proud to remain a full partner for peace. We congratulate the Israelis and the Palestinians for making the negotiations work, and we pledge ourselves to continue our active and determined effort to build upon these agreements and to achieve a comprehensive peace.
"A vital leader in America's role is our Treasury Secretary, my colleague and friend, Lloyd Bentsen. I'm very pleased that Secretary Bentsen is here today and that he is going to be applying his very considerable talents to this effort. Secretary Bentsen will be making remarks in just a few moments.
"But I want to welcome you all to the Department of State and I look forward to working with you in this historic, collective endeavour to promote peace in the Middle East."
Minister of Finance of the Russian Federation Boris Fyodorov
"On behalf of the Russian co-sponsor, let me welcome all those gathered in this meeting hall. It gives me great satisfaction to participate in the work of such a representative forum. I would like to express special gratitude to the American co-sponsor, represented by Secretary of State Christopher and Secretary of the Treasury Lloyd Bentsen, for the wonderful organization of the meeting, for the enormous efforts made in preparing this meeting in such a short time.
"The changes in the direction of the events of the Middle East towards practical steps towards peace, evidenced by the recent signing in Washington of the Palestinian-Israeli Declaration of Principles, requires the full support of the world community, and not only political support but also economic, financial and humanitarian support.
"In this regard, our meeting is extremely important if seen from the standpoint of the creation of an optimal and effective mechanism for international support to the Palestinians. Today in the Middle East the question is as follows: Where will the pendulum swing, towards reason and the creation of civilized relations or towards hostility, extremism and chaos? The answer to this question to a great extent depends on the decisions that will be taken today.
"Each contribution that will be made today in making the life of the Palestinians better, and in the final analysis the creation of a material basis for Mideast peace, will be repaid with the hardest currency possible, the strengthening of regional stability and the broadening of possibilities for multifaceted cooperation in the region.
"We feel that the first priority must be given to practical measures of a social and economic type, especially in the Gaza Strip, which in the near term must give visible results in improving the daily life of the Palestinians. And in this manner, the political, morally and politically, must strengthen the political leadership, neutralize the attacks on the peace process. Along with this, it is necessary to define actions in the future, adopt long-range assistance programmes for three to five years.
"We do not need to speak of how dramatic a period Russia is going through at present, which requires concentrated efforts and resources of the Russian Government around Russia. Nonetheless, within the scope of its possibilities, Russia is ready to make concrete contributions towards Palestinian self-rule, to review the economy of this region. This could take the form of technical and economic assistance in such spheres as the development of water-management systems, agriculture and energy sphere, as well as the education of Palestinian students and the preparation of specialists for the emerging structures of the Palestinian State.
"We are ready to assist the Palestinians, both on a multilateral basis and on a bilateral basis. We give great importance to coordinating our efforts with international organizations, and first and foremost with the UN and the World Bank. I am convinced that the work of this conference will be effective and fruitful. Thank you for your attention."
World Bank President Lewis T. Preston
"In terms of today's agenda, we face two practical issues:
"First, how can we help establish an effectively functioning civil administration in the occupied territories which can begin to improve living conditions, employment opportunities and social services?
"Second - and related to that - how can we mobilize the resources and implement the programme needed to help the people of the West Bank and Gaza help themselves?
"The Development Challenge
"With our friends in the region, in Europe and in the United States, the Bank has prepared a report which details the magnitude of the challenge:
"- Incomes have stagnated for a decade - and living conditions are appalling, especially in Gaza;
"- Unemployment is high - and increasing;
"- Public institutions and financial systems need to be developed;
"- The environment is already threatened - and we need to ensure that future development is sustainable;
"- And both social services and physical infrastructure are inadequate to meet the needs of a growing economy.
"Economic Future of the Occupied Territories
"As we begin to face these challenges, it is important that we should have a shared vision of the occupied territories' economic future. That vision must be of an efficient, productive, self-sustaining economy - able to compete abroad and raise living standards at home.
"A first priority - as I said - is to help the local entities and organizations to function as part of a new civil administration. Beyond that, realizing the vision of an independent economy will depend on:
"- The strength and speed of external support;
"- and the quality of domestic management.
"Striking the proper balance between the roles of the public and private sectors and strengthening economic links with the outside world, are especially critical issues.
"The private sector in the occupied territories has already shown itself to be highly resourceful. Given the right policy environment, there is potential for greatly expanded business activity and significant private investment - both domestic and expatriate. Opening up to trade - particularly with neighbouring countries - is also essential to create jobs, raise incomes and spur competitiveness in the global economy.
"It is imperative, therefore, that donors adopt the right approach from the outset. That means supporting policies to encourage private investment and access to labour and export markets. And it means emphasizing the building of institutional and absorptive capacities; developing a domestic financial sector; and setting up a sound regulatory system.
"At the same time, immediate relief assistance is urgently required. Medium- and long-term investment in social and physical infrastructure is also crucial. The international community has a major responsibility here. Our role must be to "jump-start" the economy of the occupied territories - and help them on to the path of sustainable development.
"Financing and the Bank's Role
"How much will it cost?
"The Bank has already done some analysis of financing needs - and our numbers reflect the views of all concerned. Over the next five years, we estimate the total external requirement at about $2.5 billion.
"Mobilizing these resources and implementing the international effort will demand real cooperation and coordination. The World Bank has already started work:
"- We have proposed to you - our members - the establishment of a $35 million trust fund for technical assistance, training and project preparation - and it will be in operation soon;
"- We have proposed to the Bank's Board an allocation of $50 million, on concessional terms, to initiate lending in Gaza;
"- We are working on an immediate emergency assistance project - to be co-financed by other donors - which will focus on the rehabilitation of vital social and physical infrastructure; logistical support for establishing the new administration; and the import of urgently needed materials and supplies;
"- Looking ahead, we plan to broaden our support - including a substantial role for the IFC [international finance corporations] in promoting the private sector.
"Conclusion: Potential and Hope
"In conclusion, I would like to express my appreciation to the President of the United States - on behalf of the World Bank - for convening this meeting.
"The challenge ahead is daunting. But, as I said at the outset, so too is the opportunity: to build upon the rich human resource base in the occupied territories; to exploit the great potential for regional cooperation; and to take advantage of the goodwill and support of the international community.
"This meeting embodies that spirit of goodwill - and of hope for the future.
"We must seize this moment.
Secretary of the Treasury Lloyd Bentsen
"Our world has been transformed in the past four years. At each change, the world community has offered its assistance. Now, we are called to make an investment in peace and an investment in the future prosperity of the West Bank and Gaza.
"We have moved with record speed. Our meeting today demonstrates that. It also demonstrates that more and more nations are willing to share the responsibility for protecting peace by assuming the responsibility for financing it.
"I am encouraged by the broad-based cooperation we are seeing. It is more than just rhetoric, it is concrete commitments and action. I want to compliment the World Bank for its invaluable contribution in assessing the needs of the Palestinians. In a few moments Mr. Preston will explain his staff's estimates of overall assistance requirements.
"While we can be encouraged by the level of cooperation demonstrated here today, no one must underestimate the challenges which lie ahead for the Palestinian people. They must simultaneously pursue self-government and economic development. Both are essential to long-lasting peace.
"Let me review briefly the kinds of assistance I believe we should provide. First, we must immediately finance relief and rehabilitation of a damaged and inadequate infrastructure. And we must also move quickly to finance the administration of the West Bank and Gaza until the Palestinians can begin raising revenues themselves.
"Over the longer-term, it is essential that we support the public and private investment that will lay the foundation for sustained economic growth in these areas. Incentives for private investment will be a key element in the success of this effort.
"In addition, both our immediate and ongoing efforts must be directed at building the capacity of the Palestinian people to organize and manage their own political and economic affairs.
"In light of these needs, we must get assistance flowing immediately, but we also must have a multi-year plan to meet the continuing needs of the West Bank and Gaza. As the Vice-President announced, the United States plans to make $500 million available over five years. We will shortly hear the multi-year commitments of others willing to help over an extended period.
"Because many of us face budget constraints, it is critical that we target and spend our resources efficiently. Our assistance must be carefully designed and implemented and there must be regular coordination to avoid duplication and wasting resources.
"The investment in peace we make today can pay dividends for generations."
PLO Executive Committee member Yasser Abed Rabbo
"Mr. Chairman, Your Excellencies, Distinguished Colleagues:
"I am honoured to address the Conference to Support Middle East Peace today on behalf of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian people. This is a most fitting sequel to the historic moment at the White House a few weeks ago when the Palestinian-Israeli Declaration of Principles was signed signalling a real start at making the dream of peace a reality. Our meeting today provides the peace process with momentum. It clearly lays the emphasis on rebuilding the Palestinian economy to enhance the political commitment aimed at ending the years of confrontation, suffering and instability in our part of the world.
"We would like to express our real appreciation and convey our thanks to the President of the United States and his Government, the co-chairman of this conference and all the donors participating for their quick and positive response to this historical occasion produced by the Palestinian-Israeli accord and to their support for its continued success.
"Let me outline for you some elements of our vision:
"First and fundamentally, our vision is of an economy developed by and for the Palestinian people themselves. Our development will depend on private initiative, not on government direction. We see the talent, creativity and hard work of individuals working directly in productive activities as being the best guarantee of rising incomes and employment. Of course, we also see a role for Government in creating the proper environment for growth, mainly by helping to build essential physical and social infrastructure, by providing a legal and regulatory framework that guarantees property rights and encourages private investment, and by securing free access to foreign markets. We do not seek big government bureaucracy as the solution to our needs: rather we see Government as the servant of the dynamic private sector on which our prosperity will depend.
"Second, while dealing with the urgent needs, mainly in the area of physical and social infrastructure, we will take into consideration the long term and future economic and social development. We believe that our current efforts should lay the foundation for sustainable development.
"Third, our vision is one of Palestinian prosperity as an integral part of a dynamic regional economy. We look for regional cooperation in trade, tourism, and other areas of common concerns. And we see that regional prosperity and economic cooperation with our neighbours can only be achieved through pursuing the wider agenda of reducing tensions in the Middle East and building a just, lasting and comprehensive peace. During the past 26 years, our economy has been facing unfair treatment. Its economic relations have been shaped by Israeli policies working for Israeli interests. We believe that these relations should be reshaped on the basis of mutual benefits, equity and reciprocity.
"Mr. Chairman, the realization of the Palestinian vision shall become the daily task of every Palestinian, man and woman, when they see that settlement activities in Jerusalem have halted and when the deportees can join their families and the prisoners are freed and when the Palestinian people feel that the process of implementing [Security Council] resolution 242 [(1967)] will culminate in the exercise of their right to self-determination.
"Ladies and gentlemen, on our side, we will do our utmost to ensure that your assistance is used effectively and properly. To this end, we have set up a Palestinian Emergency Development and Reconstruction Authority, which will coordinate our efforts and serve as the competent authority to contact and deal with the coordinating body which the donors create, and to provide overall supervision on our part of the development and reconstruction process.
"Finally, I believe that our people, and our Jordanian brothers, with whom we are seeking to preserve and develop close ties, look towards our friends in the region, old and new, to begin a voyage towards a new and promising future. We would like to see our efforts completed through just peace between all our Arab brothers with Israel. A peace that is based on ending confrontation, respect for international legality and full implementation of [Security Council] resolutions 242 [(1967)] and 338 [(1973)], real sharing and good neighbourliness, mutuality and respect for human rights, free choice and independence.
"Our vision includes peace for the holy city of Jerusalem, enabling East Jerusalem to become the capital of our future independent State, ending the misery and humiliation of exile and refuge of our people, allowing them the dignity and security of return to their home and putting a total halt to the process of forced settlement of our land because it violates the principles of reconciliation, free choice, neighbourliness as well as legitimacy. Our visions are also those of security for all of us, end to violence and commitment to signed agreements. In short, real peace."
Foreign Minister Shimon Peres
"We appreciate this swift initiative of the US President and Secretaries of State and Treasury to convene the Donors' Conference. Only three weeks have passed since Israel and the Palestinians signed their agreement on the lawn of the White House and we are already discussing the methods to ensure its success. We express our deep appreciation to our European, Nordic, Canadian, Russian and Japanese friends and all the other contributors who seek to assist in this important endeavour.
"This conference is the first of its kind in the annals of the Middle East. On many occasions external powers tended to divide and rule. Now they unite and contribute.
"We need a Middle East in which nations will maintain their identities and economies will flourish through interdependence. To provide our people with hope for prosperity we have to adapt our region to modern market economy.
"We have to embark on three different economic initiatives. The first, to provide financial assistance to the Palestinians, to enable them to translate the agreement on self-government into a successful reality.
"Secondly, we need economic mechanisms to lay the foundations of a new Middle East. A Middle East that will battle desertification and enrich itself with an integrated infrastructure.
"We have to start building roads, telecommunication lines, energy plants, water desalination and the tourist industry. The role of the public sector in the initial period is essential. We should invite the private sector to participate in this voyage.
"Thirdly, we have to rid ourselves of wasteful expenses, oversized armies, an exaggerated arms race, outdated bureaucratic systems. The peoples of the region have to help themselves and prove to the outside world that we can overcome economic barriers, foster cooperation and improve the existing facilities by diverting financial resources from the futile arms race.
"Israel supports the understanding reached between the major donors and will cooperate with the World Bank and other institutions. To this effect, we will contribute $2.5 million to the Bank's trust fund set up for preparing feasibility studies. We shall continue to support and expand the multilateral negotiations in scope and substance. We express our appreciation to Tunisia for hosting the Working Group on Refugees.
"Israel will work closely with Palestinians and Jordanians to introduce economic cooperation in our geographic proximity and help create a flourishing economic triangle. We shall do it as neighbours. We do not seek to replace military presence by economic domination. In this spirit we shall contribute over the coming years $25 million in grants and $50 million in credits.
"All of us have to rise above past suspicion and act in concert to address the possibilities created by this new political opportunity. The region is in need of an economic and political rebirth and one day we shall say, that it was here in Washington, that we saw the beginning of a new Middle East."
Commissioner Hans van den Broek, Commission of the European Communities
"It is with great pleasure, and with a clear view of the historic importance of the agreement recently reached between the Palestinians and the Israelis, that I speak to outline the support that the European Community [(EC)] is preparing for the Palestinians.
"- Since 1971, in addition to substantial bilateral aid from its Member States, the EC has contributed more than US$800 million in grant aid to the Palestinians; in 1993 alone over US$100 million is being committed in grants, including more than US$25 million which has been mobilized since the signature of the Declaration of Principles.
"- Aid has been channelled through many instruments:
"- Aid to refugees through UNRWA;
"- Direct development aid including support to Palestinian institutions, and co-financing with European NGOs;
"- Aid for trade through granting of preferential agreements;
"- Aid for environmental purposes;
"- Emergency interventions.
"- In this process the EC has built up a network of relationships with Palestinian leaders and institutions and has appointed a representative to the territories to channel more efficiently its assistance.
"- The EC is ready to capitalize on its experience for its own future efforts, and to put it at the disposal of other donors.
"- For the occupied territories of the West Bank and Gaza, the Commission proposes to ask the community budgetary authorities that 500 million ECU [European currency units] [$600 million] be made available for 1994-98. Half of this amount would be grants from the community budget and the remainder is expected to be provided through long-term loans.
"- The Community's approach is:
"- In the short term, to extend projects already underway, in particular in the fields of housing, credit for small and medium-sized business, solid waste removal programmes, upgrading the sewage system and the construction of the Gaza Hospital. The construction of classrooms and the completion of industrial parks could be added to the existing aid programme.
"- In the medium term, EC resources could contribute to improving the economic and social infrastructure, as well as helping the Palestinians to generate urgently-needed employment. In particular, creating a modern infrastructure for private business activities through telecommunications, road connections, electricity, industrial estates, etc. is of the greatest importance.
"- The Commission is prepared to offer the Palestinians technical assistance to establish institutions for planning and finance which will be necessary for financial management and development.
"- The Community welcomes the constitution of PEDRA (the Palestinian Emergency Development and Reconstruction Authority) and looks forward to assisting it in any way necessary.
"It must be remembered that the peace process concerns not just the occupied territories but also the region surrounding them.
"- That is why the Community's assistance to the Palestinians runs parallel to the substantial volume of technical and financial assistance that we provide and shall continue to provide to the countries of the region with all of which we already have important trade and cooperation agreements.
"- In the longer term, the development of the region as a whole should become the central concern of the international community. No stable peace in the region is possible without such an economic development effort.
"- In order for this to be possible, the countries of the region themselves need to show the willingness to embark on durable large-scale cooperation in fields like trade, industry, agriculture, transport and communications infrastructure.
"- The prospect of peace offers new perspectives for the relationships between the countries of the region and the rest of the world.
"- The European Community, which has already been playing a prominent role in the multilateral track of the peace process through the different working groups, especially while leading the economic development group, will continue to be a wiling partner both in promoting co-operation within the region and in its own relations with the region. We look forward to the work ahead in close cooperation with other donors."
Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme James Gustave Speth
"On behalf of the Secretary-General, I am pleased to join you today to present the concerted response of the United Nations to the developmental and rehabilitation challenges brought forward so dramatically by the signing of the Declaration of Principles by Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization on 13 September 1993.
"As was communicated by Dr. Boutros-Ghali to the convenors of this Conference, the Secretary-General is motivated by the long-standing commitment of the United Nations in pursuit of a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement in the Middle East, as well as the many years that he has personally devoted to this issue. He has also assured the convenors that the United Nations will spare no effort in supporting the implementation of the Israeli-Palestinian Declaration of Principles. The United Nations delegation accompanying me includes Mr. William Eagleton, Deputy Commissioner-General of UNRWA, the organization with by far the largest presence in the territories of any external assistance agency, and Mr. Ali Attiga, who is in charge of the United Nations Development Programme's Bureau for Arab States.
"The United Nations system includes some 40 specialized agencies and other organizations dedicated to the principles of the United Nations Charter and equipped to provide expertise and operational skill in virtually very field of human endeavour. For nearly 45 years the United Nations, through UNRWA, and subsequently UNDP and UNICEF, as well as other UN agencies, has been assisting Palestinians in the occupied territories as well as carrying out activities in other countries in the Middle East. In 1993, they are providing services and implementing special projects in the West Bank and Gaza Strip amounting to nearly $250 million, a figure currently accounting for one third of all public expenditure in the West Bank and about one-half in the Gaza Strip. Currently, they are employing over 8,000 Palestinians and over 70 international staff in this work.
"Before the signature of the Declaration of Principles, the Secretary-General assembled a Task Force of several of his senior associates to establish an integrated United Nations approach towards development in these areas, with a particular focus on Gaza, where needs are greatest; to coordinate with other institutions, agencies and non-governmental organizations involved in on-going development projects so as to avoid a duplication of efforts; and to mobilize international financial support for this process. The report of this Task Force, entitled "Supporting the Transition: An immediate Response of the United Nations to the Interim Period in the West Bank and Gaza Strip" is available to participants at this meeting.
"It signals the unique and integrated field level coherence of the three principle organizations already heavily engaged in operational activities in the occupied territories - UNDP, UNICEF and UNRWA - including the services they can provide over the next 9-12 months which, with additional funding, can begin immediately. They can have a rapid effect on economic and social infrastructures, education, health, public management and training, social services, agriculture, industry and emergency activities. The cost of these additional activities is estimated at $138,250,000. The first priority among these activities in the short term is the maintenance of existing services, the filling of gaps where services have been neglected, and measures to ensure that there is no reduction, dislocation or deterioration in services. These activities will be beneficial not only in direct terms, but also because the construction, upgrading and maintenance projects will create immediate employment; also the improvement in the infrastructure will be beneficial to the Palestinians in any scenario.
"I am happy to indicate that the initial work of the World Bank on current conditions and development priorities in the occupied territories, including its report, `An Investment in Peace', is viewed by the Secretary-General as a major contribution to the work of the international community. Building on already close collaboration, the United Nations organizations are currently moving into even closer partnership with the Bank. As an example, UNDP and UNRWA assisted the World Bank in the formulation of the report and will be associated in the large technical mission scheduled to be sent by the World Bank to the West Bank and Gaza within the next two weeks.
"In moving quickly and comprehensively, as we are all anxious to do, it is necessary to be reminded regularly that it is essential to harmonize our efforts with the plans, priorities and demonstrated needs of the Palestinians themselves. Fortunately, UNDP and UNRWA have years of experience in their regard and the machinery of the Multilateral Peace Process, including the Working Groups, ensure that their inputs, as well as those included in the Declaration of Principles, will shape our deliberation."
The following remarks were made by the Secretary of State Warren Christopher and the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Belgium, Willy Claes, at the heads of delegations luncheon during the conference:
Secretary of State Warren Christopher
"Thank you again for your cooperation. Our session this morning, I think it's fair to say, was a striking success. On behalf of Secretary Bentsen and Foreign Minister Kozyrev and Minister Fyodorov, I want to thank you all for attending the conference and for your participation and your generosity.
"In the coming months, we must make sure that we continue to work together to make sure that the pledges are fulfilled and that they're translated into tangible improvements on the ground in the occupied territories.
"At the same time, we must all redouble our efforts to work for a comprehensive peace in the region. The Israeli-Palestinian agreements are a crucial component, an important building block, but they must be fortified by progress on the other tracks.
"Speaking of other tracks and speaking particularly of the multilateral track, I want to note how pleased I am that the first of the multilateral meeting will take place in the region when Tunisia hosts the refugee group in October and Egypt hosts the environmental group in December. I hope there will be many other meetings of the portions of the multilateral track in the region in the near future.
"As we've heard this morning and as you could tell from the speakers, the European Community is playing a very vital role in providing resources and providing leadership. The EC financial commitment complements its active leadership in the multilateral track.
"The EC is a prime example of how integration of economies can bring former adversaries together in producing stability and prosperity in a region. I'm pleased now to introduce Foreign Minister Claes of Belgium, who is President of the Council of Ministers of the European Community for this period, and I introduce him to speak to you on this occasion - Foreign Minister Claes."
Foreign Minister Willy Claes
"Mr. Secretary of State, Ministers, Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen: the history of mankind teaches us that going to war is easier than making peace. Whether it is inherent to human nature or not, I leave to the reflections of psychologists and [inaudible].
"It is, therefore, with enthusiasm that we all have greeted the vision and courage of the leaders who took the decisive step to sign the Israeli-Palestinian agreement, in our view, by [inaudible] in the Middle East peace process. Our response was all the more swift and positive and, indeed, it represents the concretization of ideas Europe has fostered since many years.
"The declaration of Venice [13 June] 1980**,
for example, contained ideas which for some were unspeakable - and even unthinkable - at that time. When we consider what has been achieved now, it had some prophetic value. But the step which has been achieved now, however far-reaching and important, will only take its full significance if the momentum of the peace process is maintained and if all the countries involved pursue their efforts in order to achieve a complete, just and lasting peace.
"Peace will only be global when conditions will be realized for a new start in the economic and social development of the region. A population frustrated in its ambitions for education, welfare, public health, and prosperity would be an easy prey for political unrest. This would in turn continue to be a threat to the stability of the region and of the world.
"The sponsors of the Madrid Conference and the participating countries were very conscious of the economic and social aspects of any lasting peace. The multilateral track of the conference was created in order to give hope to populations who have suffered wars rather than [inaudible] during more than 45 years. The bilateral track was created to solve the problems of the past. The multilateral track looks resolutely to the future.
"Ladies and gentlemen, I shall not dwell upon the amount of our contributions. The figures have already been quoted. Let me just say that they have an important significance. They represent our commitment. They are the consequence of our long-lasting support for the peace process. They meant that we have firm hopes for the development of a region which is culturally and spiritually one of the sources of our civilization.
"It is also an act of faith in the various peoples who will learn to live together. We are convinced that the qualities and the levels of education and of professional qualifications which exist in the region constitute assets for a brilliant future and rapid development.
"Ladies and gentlemen, I have addressed my congratulations to the courageous leaders who have made the first steps toward peace. I would fail to do my duty if I didn't mention also the role of the Norwegian Foreign Minister in this achievement. He deserves our gratitude. And I would like to conclude in commending all those who support their efforts.
"I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate once more the host country for the brilliant organization of this conference on such short notice."
"1. The Conference to Support Middle East Peace was held on 1 October in Washington. The Conference was jointly sponsored by the Russian Federation and the United States. The Russian co-chairs were Foreign Minister Kozyrev and Finance Minister Fyodorov. The American co-chairs were Secretary Christopher and Secretary Bentsen.
"2. The Conference brought together several overlapping circles of parties: members of the Multilateral Steering Group, a body that has overseen the multilateral track of the peace process; the gavel-holders of the working groups established under the Madrid process, namely the European Community, Japan, Canada, and the US; the G-7 countries, which were invited in the Palestinian-Israeli Declaration of Principles to play a role in fostering economic development in the region; Norway; major donors from around the world; Israel and Arab representatives, including the GCC; and the World Bank and the United Nations. All participants gathered, first and foremost, to show support for a comprehensive settlement in the Middle East and for the Israeli-Palestinian Declaration of Principles, which is an important step toward that end. Given the pressing economic and development in Gaza and the West Bank, the conference set as its major objective the marshalling of substantial resources to meet immediate and longer-term needs.
"3. The Palestinians and Israelis reported to the Conference on steps they are taking to implement and consolidate the Declaration of Principles signed on 13 September. The Palestinians emphasized their intention to organize mechanisms to promote economic development and make effective use of external assistance. The Palestinians and Israelis made clear their intention to cooperate in fostering economic development in the West Bank and Gaza as foreseen in the Declaration of Principles.
"4. The participants at the Conference agreed to support the historic political breakthrough in the Middle East through a broad-based multilateral effort to mobilize resources to promote reconstruction and development in the West Bank and Gaza. They acknowledged that formidable challenges of implementing the 13 September Declaration of Principles will generate a broad range of assistance needs.
"5. Participants shared the view that these needs require both immediate and longer-term action. The twin goals are to have near-term impact on economic prospects and living standards and to ensure that longer-term assistance lays the basis for launching sustained growth.
"6. For the critical first phase of the effort, participants announced pledges totalling in excess of $600 million for the first year and $1 billion for the first two years. For the five-year period corresponding to the peace agreement, there were formal indications of planned support approaching $2 billion. Additional indications are expected in the future. Anticipating the continuation of donor efforts on the level announced for the first year, we are confident that the $2.4 billion of five-year external assistance needs identified by the World Bank will be met.
"Assistance Programmes and Donors
"7. The donor community agreed to support urgent relief efforts and to endeavour to meet other short-term needs including rehabilitation of existing infrastructure. It is recognized that an appropriate legal framework should be established on the recipient side in order to enable a smooth implementation of external assistance. Participants recognized that the United Nations Relief and Works Agency is already active in these areas. UNRWA, non-governmental organizations, the EC, and other bilateral donors are prepared to move at a rapid pace.
"8. Urgent and ongoing efforts must be directed at building the capacity of the Palestinians to organize and manage their own political, economic and social affairs in the context of implementation of the 13 September Palestinian-Israeli Declaration of Principles. An important priority will be the development of effective revenue-sharing and revenue-collection arrangements. Participants resolved to initiate an extensive programme of technical assistance to build institutions and to train personnel. The World Bank will establish and manage a Trust Fund to finance these kinds of technical assistance, training, and feasibility studies over the next 12-18 months. Moreover, UN agencies including UNDP, along with other multilateral and bilateral programmes and agencies, will provide both technical and financial assistance to support this institution-building effort.
"9. In the longer term, the Conference noted the importance of promoting public and private investment to lay the foundation for launching the West Bank and Gaza on a path of sustained growth. Participants will carry out their assistance projects within the framework of a five-year programme of public investment in physical and social infrastructure and productive capacity. The World Bank, in cooperation with other international financial institutions, will take a leading role in developing and helping to mobilize programmes to support public investment.
"10. The private sector and private investment will play a critical part in promoting sustained growth and development. The Palestinians acknowledge the importance of establishing an environment conducive to private investment. Conference participants intend to encourage trade and private investment through export financing programmes and investment incentives.
"11. Conference participants stressed the need to address the development of the West Bank and Gaza in its regional context. The World Bank has begun to identify regional infrastructure projects that would facilitate economic integration of the West Bank and Gaza with its neighbours. Participants emphasized that freer trade among the economies of the region would be beneficial. The four relevant working groups created under the Madrid process should continue their work on issues of regional economic development, water, environment and refugees.
"12. There was a shared concern, in a time of budget constraint and scarce resources, that this assistance effort be managed efficiently with maximum benefit for recipients. Donors and regional financial institutions will work closely with the World Bank to achieve this goal.
"13. Participants recognized that many obstacles must be overcome on the road to peace, security and economic development in the region. The expressed confidence in the ability of the Israeli and Palestinian people to sustain the hard labour of peace. Participants urged the Palestinian and Israeli representatives to move forward rapidly to implement the Declaration of Principles and pledged their support for the peace process, both politically and financially."
*The list of delegates is contained in the annex to the present document (pp. 128-134.
**For the full text of the declaration see United Nations document A/35/299-
S/14009 dated 25 June 1980. The text also appeared in
The New York Times
of 14 June 1980.
Opening statements at a news conference following the Conference
to Support Middle East Peace, Washington, D.C., 1 October 1993
On 1 October 1993, at Washington, D.C., the following opening statements were made by the Secretary of State Warren Christopher and the Secretary of the Treasury Lloyd Bentsen at a news conference which followed the Conference to Support Middle East Peace:
Secretary of State Warren Christopher
"Good afternoon. It was only 19 days ago that the world witnessed, on the White House lawn, a historic turning point in the Middle East. One week later, the United States issued a call for a donors' conference to make that breakthrough irreversible. Today, we can say with confidence that never before has the international community moved so purposefully and with such urgency to build a lasting peace. I can say to you with confidence that the meeting this morning has been a striking success.
"On behalf of the United States and our Russian co-sponsors, represented by Foreign Minister Kozyrev and Finance Minister Fyodorov, Secretary Bentsen and I are delighted to summarize the results of the conference.
"The number and broad range of participants in this conference exceeded our expectations. The conference brought together 46 delegations from around the globe. Indeed, for the first time in my memory, nations actually requested invitations to a donors' conference. That remarkable response reflects the new political landscape and the new sense of optimism that has emerged in the Middle East. Those contributions pledged today reflected a genuine and sincere and generous commitment, as Secretary Bentsen will describe in a moment. This assistance gives us every reason to expect that the needs foreseen in the World Bank's estimates will be met in the years ahead.
"The Palestinians have already taken the critical step of creating a mechanism to work with the World Bank and others to establish priorities and sound development policies. The major donors and the World Bank will work together to ensure that the assistance is cost-effective, that it will produce tangible results on the ground, and that it will spur long-term economic growth. We must work together to help Israel move to a productive new relationship with its Palestinian neighbours.
"For more than 40 years, the world has sought a just and lasting peace in the Middle East. Now we have seen a soaring achievement by the Israelis and the Palestinians and an extraordinary show of support by the international community. Certainly our work together has only begun, but we can be greatly encouraged by the unprecedented moral and material commitment that has been made today.
"Now I'll introduce my colleague, Secretary Bentsen, for the information you really are interested in - Secretary Bentsen."
Secretary of the Treasury Lloyd Bentsen
"Well, I'm delighted to join my colleague, Secretary Christopher.
"This is an incredible response, as you've seen, in such a short period of time. To think it was only some three weeks ago that that historic handshake took place and less than two weeks ago when we announced this meeting - and then to have these representatives from around the world coming to pledge their assistance.
"What you're looking at here is, again, how important this economic structure is for the future, because you must see in the West Bank and Gaza an improving economy, one that will lead to prosperity and the success of this venture. We've had about 50 nations and international organizations that have come together to bring about this show of support for the Middle East peace. As you know, there are very immediate and pressing needs in the West Bank and they have to be attended to quickly.
"I'm gratified that there are pledges for over $600 million for that critical first year. Over two years, it will reach $1 billion. Commitments made today approach $2 billion over the five years; and, with the continuation of the maintenance of effort in this from the donors that we have seen, I am confident that we will exceed the $2.4 billion that the World Bank estimates to be the need over five years.
"You'll find some of the fine points of what we agreed to do in the longer statement which we are handing out. But I want to point out the broad role of the multilateral institutions in this effort. We're calling on the World Bank to play an important role, as well as the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, the United Nations Development Programme and the IMF.
"As donor nations, we agreed that we should support urgent relief efforts and start rehabilitating the existing infrastructure. That in itself is a challenge. But we also agreed that we must do more. We must help the Palestinians as they work to organize and manage their own political, economic and social affairs. The donors have agreed to start an extensive programme of technical assistance to build the institutions of Government and to train personnel.
"The close cooperation of the Palestinians and the Israelis will be essential in every area of institution-building. One of the critical needs will be creating a revenue-sharing system and a local revenue-collection system - which a Secretary of the Treasury can have a full appreciation for. Over the longer term, we agreed that promoting both public and private investment will launch the West Bank and the Gaza on a path of growth. We have a five-year programme to make investments in physical and social infrastructure, as well as in the areas of their production capacity.
"The representatives of both the Palestinian community and Israel and the private donors stressed the part the private sector will play in this - through lunch and talking to the PLO representative and hearing him talk of the interest of Palestinians back in the Gaza and the West Bank and what he anticipates in the way of private capital coming to that area.
"The Palestinians have acknowledged how very important it is to have an environment that encourages private investment and donors will encourage private investment through incentive programmes. Conference participants also stressed the need to address the development of the West Bank and the Gaza in its regional context and there was agreement that free trade is certainly needed throughout the region.
"And, finally, we have a shared concern - Secretary Christopher and I - that the assistance we are pledging be managed as efficiently as possible, so there will be close cooperation among major donors and the World Bank to meet that goal. Thank you."
Remarks by President Clinton, Crown Prince Hassan of Jordan
and Israeli Foreign Minister Peres following a meeting
at the White House, Washington, D.C., 1 October 1993
In their remarks following a meeting at the White House, on 1 October 1993, President Clinton, Crown Prince Hassan of Jordan and Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres discussed steps towards peace in the Middle East:
"Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I have a brief statement, and then I want to give the Crown Prince and the Foreign Minister an opportunity to make a few remarks.
"I have just had the privilege of hosting what to date has been an unprecedented meeting in the Oval Office between His Royal Highness Crown Prince Hassan of Jordan and Foreign Minister Shimon Peres of Israel. This meeting is another important step on the road toward a comprehensive peace in the Middle East.
"With me in the Oval Office were Shimon Peres, a principal architect of the path-breaking Israel-PLO agreement; and Crown Prince Hassan, a leader who has literally devoted his life to the promotion of peace and a better future for the entire region. I am grateful to both of them for accepting my invitation to further the cause of peace.
"On 13 September, we bore witness to an event that should serve as a turning point in the history of the Middle East. Then, I spoke of my commitment to help build a new future for the Middle East and all its people. Today, we have taken two additional steps to turn that hope into reality.
"This morning at the State Department, in an extraordinary demonstration of international support for peace, 43 nations from every region of the world helped to usher in this new era by providing their political and financial backing to those who would make peace in the Middle East. They pledged more than $600 million for the immediate needs of the Palestinians and over $2 billion over the next five years to help establish Palestinian self-government.
"And now this meeting has just taken place in the Oval Office, coming as it does some two weeks after Jordan and Israel signed their agreement on a common agenda to guide their negotiations. This symbolizes a new relationship between Jordan and Israel, marked by dialogue and acceptance rather than confrontation and rejection.
"The special relationship between the United States and Israel is central to the pursuit of peace, and I want to emphasize the great importance the United States attaches to Jordan's critical role in achieving lasting peace in the region.
"In our meeting, both the Crown Prince and the Foreign Minister spoke of their hopes for the future of peace and prosperity for Israelis, Palestinians, Syrians, Lebanese, and Jordanians alike - indeed, for the entire region. To help to work toward this goal, they discussed ways to give more energy and force to their bilateral negotiations to resolve all outstanding issues.
"They also agreed today that Israel and Jordan should establish a joint economic committee, much like the one agreed to in the Israel-PLO agreement of two and a half weeks ago. And we all agreed that Israel, Jordan and the United States should establish a working group to be convened by the United States with two representatives from each country so that Israel and Jordan can agree - together with this nation acting as facilitator - on the next steps in economic development in their two nations. They share so much in common, as they both pointed out. Now they want a common economic agenda.
"They also agreed to work, through this working group, on common steps to reduce desertification in the area. We want to reduce the problems of the environment, and especially the problems the desert presents, as a part of the long-term economic growth of the Middle East and, especially, of Israel and Jordan.
"And finally, they both agreed that we should all get to work as soon as possible. That's the kind of action and the kind of attitude that I hope we can keep alive, coming as it does on the heels of so many other encouraging signs in the Middle East.
"Finally, let me say that they spoke of their common commitment to work in close coordination with the Palestinians as this peace process goes forward. In this way, we can all act as partners with the Palestinians and work towards our common goals.
"Let me say, personally, that I enjoyed this meeting very much. I applaud the Crown Prince; I applaud the Foreign Minister for coming here, for being a part of it. We believe that together we can work toward a peace that benefits everyone. And we believe there are things we can be doing now to benefit the countries and the peoples economically in ways that strengthen their inner sense of security and commitment to this remarkable process.
"I'd like now to offer the microphone first to the Crown Prince and then to the Foreign Minister."
Crown Prince Hassan
"Mr. President, Foreign Minister, ladies and gentlemen of the press: `There is a tide in the affairs of men which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries'. On such a full sea are we now afloat.
"The voyage we have embarked upon, Mr. President, is guided by important landmarks: the common agenda, including the rights of refugees according to international law; the Palestinian-Israeli Declaration of Principles and its implementation within the agreed timetable. But what is more important is the commitment to momentum. And participating today through your kind hospitality at the donors' conference, I was heartened to feel that the commitment to peace in the Middle East is truly universal. We hope that this commitment and this partnership can be maintained through your personal interest and guidance, Mr. President. And to that effect, I would endorse the fervent desire for realizing the functional role that Jordan seeks to play.
"I am happy to welcome the concept of an economic working group within the context of our search for peace - the peace process - and, indeed, to commit myself to - wherever and whenever possible -furthering the humanitarian needs of people without discrimination in Jordan and in the Palestinian context and in the wider regional context. I hope that interstate agreements on these principles - these early functional steps - will lead in the months ahead and, indeed, in the years ahead, toward the consolidation of a mutual understanding of shared peace in the regional community where hope is shared by all on the ground.
"But I have to say, in a word of caution, to the people of the Middle East on the ground - in our cities, in our villages - wheresoever and whomsoever they may be - in our refugee camps, in the occupied territories, and in Jordan; in Jerusalem where believers effectively of the Abrahamic faith share in the vision and the hope for peace - that there is much to be done. And I believe that we have to commit ourselves to a work ethic for peace rather more than further opportunities to share before the camera our commitment in statements, which I hope will be realized. But, again, I would stress that hope needs to be effectively realized through commitment and hard work on the ground.
"I thank you, Mr. President. Thank you, Foreign Minister."
Foreign Minister Peres
"Mr. President, Your Royal Highness: I would like to thank you, Mr. President, first of all, for enabling us to return to what we used to be in history and to what we should be - neighbours in economy.
"It is a very moving occasion, I think, for our people - I hope, for the rest of the Middle East. And under the very devoted and wise hand of the United States, I do believe that the two people on both sides will have today a new hope and a new opportunity.
"We have had the same father, Abraham. We share the same river, the Jordan. We have the same sea, the Red Sea. We are sharing the same treasure, which is called, unfortunately, the Dead Sea. All these are historic treasures. They were blessed with holiness. Now what we want to do is to translate a great historic tradition into a new economic endeavour.
"I think in a world that was so skeptical, the Clinton Administration and the people in the Middle East are trying to show that we can do it differently, better, movingly, seriously, with great hope and great depth. May the Lord bless all of us for serving Him right historically as well as politically.
"I would like also to thank the Secretary of State, Mr. Christopher, for trying, in his own quiet way, to help us to build a new, real drama in honour of our region.
"Thank you very much, Mr. President."
Text of statement by Foreign Minister Shimon Peres before the Knesset,
Jerusalem, 11 October 1993
On 11 October 1993, at Jerusalem, speaking at the opening of the Knesset winter session, the Foreign Minister of Israel Mr. Shimon Peres, made the following statement:
"Honourable Knesset, I want to express my condolences and that of the entire Government to the Bakhar and Foerer families who lost their dear ones in the despicable terrorist attack in Wadi al-Qilt. Dror, 25, and Eran, 23, hiked peacefully in one of the most beautiful places in Israel and died in the battle for peace. They are the victims of burning hatred, of stupefying evil. The Islamic Jihad organization has already taken responsibility for this crime. This shows us not only who is responsible for this act, but what their intentions are as well. These men of blood are the enemies of peace. They did not merely want to kill these innocent hikers, but also the hope for peace. They wanted to destroy the hope both of the Israelis and of many Palestinians. They lifted their evil hands not only against Dror and Eran, but also against the Israeli-Palestinian agreement.
"This was also the intention of the terrorists who tried to infiltrate via the sea and to perpetrate a large-scale attack on our northern coast. Our Navy's success in foiling this plan must not relax our alertness. On the contrary, our success should serve as a warning sign; the enemies of peace are planning to foil the process because their entire existence is dependent on the continuation of the state of hostility. Once peace comes they will lose their raison d'etre. Therefore they are trying to harm us, as well as the PLO senior echelon, as has been made public.
"The Wadi al-Qilt murders and the infiltration attempt in the north will not be the last attempts. There will probably be more attempts to torpedo the peace by acts of terrorism and murder. Israel, therefore, insists on its full right and comprehensive duty to prevent a security vacuum during the interim stage as well. Israel and its security forces will defend its citizens and the Palestinian population under our rule. It will relentlessly pursue the terrorists and the enemies of peace and will not leave them alone.
"In the near future the enemies of peace will continue their attempts to spill blood, cause suffering and harm innocent people. However, he who believes that by wielding a butcher's knife or by firing bullets from an ambush it is possible to foil historic moves is deluding himself. The world is ridding itself of murderers. The attempts to destroy the peace in which both Israelis and Arabs are interested is creating a coalition of interests which hitherto would have seemed unimaginable. It is now necessary for both Israelis and Palestinians to act against terrorism. Now, it is not only we who are interested in overcoming terrorism. Our neighbours also must share this interest, because the knife is pointed at them as well. Our joint interests must lead to cooperation for achieving these interests. Israel is willing to cooperate with any party in our region wiling to curb terrorism. Together we will be able to promise both Israeli and Palestinian mothers that their sons travelling on the road will return home safely without being threatened by assassins and terrorists.
"We have still not reached a state of calm and tranquility. It is possible that both we and our neighbours still face acts of terrorism. But we are approaching the stage in which it will transpire that terrorism has no future and is doomed. If we avoid doing what these murderers want us to do; if we stick to peace and continue with the implementation of the agreements which have already been signed; if we continue to strive toward attaining more agreements, then this wave of terrorism will wither and abate due to its futility, just as the state of war is dying out due to its futility.
"The security forces will continue to fulfil their duty in foiling and preventing acts of terrorism and in apprehending and trying terrorists. We know very well, however, that military moves will not suffice. The implementation of the Israeli-Palestinian agreement and the autonomy plan and a significant improvement in the socio-economic situation in the territories will also help in decreasing the level of violence. After all, terrorism is the weapon of desperate people who have nothing to lose in the present and no hopes for the future. A population which stands to lose something, a society with a solid economic infrastructure and hopes for a better future is not inclined to permit a trigger-happy mentality to endanger the rightful expectations of its members.
"Knesset Members, our objectives are, therefore, safeguarding the security of all the residents of all the towns within the autonomy and outside it. This will be made possible by faithfully implementing the agreement with the PLO, by energetically pursuing the peace process with all our neighbours, and by building a new Middle East that will meet the new challenges of our era.
"The implementation of our agreement with the PLO, as approved by the Knesset, will decrease the friction between us and them and will burden the Palestinians with the responsibility of preserving law and order. It will increase our common interest in preserving peace and overcoming terrorism.
"No nation should elect the leaders of another nation, and no nation should arrest the criminals of another nation. The Government is determined to continue with the policy of peace, which has strengthened our national and personal security. This Government has promised the public and the Knesset to improve the security situation and it is fulfilling its promise, despite the painful victims. The truth is that the personal security situation in Israel's cities and roads has improved. This change stems from the fusion of security measures and political initiatives. We must not forgo either of these two components of our national strategy. We will not relax the security measures wherever and whenever they are called for, nor will we give up the necessary political moves.
"Knesset Members, we will not do what our enemies want us to do. We will not stop the peace process because the enemies of peace want us to do so. On the contrary, we will stick to our peace and security policy even more firmly.
"Mr. Speaker, the Government of Israel expects to make the agreement with the Palestinians a great success. After 100 years of hostility, the first buds of mutual interests are beginning to blossom. This does not refer merely to the issue of the struggle against extremism and terrorism, but also the socio-economic issues. Suffice it to mention our common natural resources and the human potential we share. What has been in the past a disturbing and divisive factor can become helpful and uniting factor in the near future. During the second half of the twentieth century we have learned that it is not enough to give people an ID card. It is necessary to create a solid economic infrastructure so that the self-rule will not become a painful economic failure, as was the case in several African countries. A happy neighbour is also a better neighbour.
"Following the Knesset decision, the discussions entered high gear. In a meeting between the Prime Minister and the PLO Chairman in Cairo, it was decided to establish the Coordinating Committee, to convene in Tabah for a period of two months, as well as the Liaison Committee, which will convene occasionally in Cairo to deal with substantial problems that crop up as the negotiations proceed. The Coordinating Committee will be headed, on Israel's side, by Major-General Amnon Shahak, the Deputy Chief of Staff. The Liaison Committee will be headed by the Foreign Minister. We will depart for Cairo next Wednesday [13 October] for the first session of the Committee.
"We do not regard the agreement with the Palestinians as a commercial transaction, but rather as a historic agreement; we do not regard it as an agreement between leaders, but rather as an agreement between nations.
"Tomorrow the fourth session of the multilateral negotiations will start in Tunis with a meeting of the Refugee Affairs Committee. Refugees and demands posed by refugees are not the prerogatives of one side only. We must seriously and comprehensively discuss all the demands. The Israeli delegation is headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Yossi Beilin. The very fact that an Israeli delegation is openly travelling to Tunis is another sign of normalization in relations. Israel expects a deepening of normalization in relations with North African countries. There are no more excuses for our conflict. We are extending our hand for peace and for a fertile, deep and sincere cooperation with these countries.
"Our negotiations with the Syrian, Lebanese, Jordanian and Palestinian delegations in Washington will continue. In our negotiations with the Palestinians we will discuss the remaining problems relating to the autonomy, including elections for the Council and its size. In this context I would like to inform the Knesset about dividing our delegation for talks with Jordan and the Palestinians into two separate delegations. This was done at their own request and after we reached the conclusion that the negotiations will no longer be served by uniting these two delegations. This division will also take place in the multilateral talks.
"Knesset Members, we are interested in attaining a full, public and historic agreement with our eastern neighbours, the Hashemite Kingdom. In this spirit we also conducted the public tripartite meeting among the US President, the Jordanian Crown Prince and Israel's Foreign Minister. I told the Crown Prince that historically we are sons of one father, Abraham, and that geographically we are neighbours on the Red Sea, the Arava desert, the Dead Sea with its resources, and the Jordan River. These places can be both a bone of contention and a source of great wealth to Jordan, the Palestinians and Israel. If we see to economic transportation routes; prevent a waste in infrastructure, such as double airports and ports; preserve tourism interests; strictly preserve water purity; exhaust the potential of Dead Sea minerals and the rare beauty of the Red Sea; change the scenery of the Arava, and develop intensive and modern agriculture; then we could save many people from poverty, which breeds protest and violence. We are interested in a thriving Jordan. We have proven more than once that we have real respect of the independence of the Hashemite Kingdom. We have proposed the establishment of a fertile economic triangle, which would serve as a lever for far-reaching cooperation. Such cooperation will not replace the political arrangements, but will rather come in addition to them. Toward this end we have agreed to establish a tripartite committee made up of two American, two Israeli and two Jordanian representatives. I was happy to learn that the Jordanian Crown Prince - who incidentally speaks Hebrew - also shares these sentiments.
"We are willing to continue our negotiations with Syria and Lebanon in Washington, just as we will continue with the talks with Jordan and the Palestinians. We want to reach an agreement with Syria. Only a comprehensive agreement of all the countries in the Middle East will constitute a truly full agreement. Negotiations with each of these four parties have their own logic and basis. The purpose is to heal all the open wounds on the Middle East's body. We want to tell Syria clearly that we are willing to conduct fair negotiations with it. Negotiations between equal parties, which will make from for a fair compromise and which will bridge the understandable fears of both the Syrians and ourselves. We mainly want to ensure Israel's security needs, without ignoring Syria's security needs. We are interested in a peace which is not merely a verbal or a spectacular thing, but a peace that will create a new and promising reality for both nations. We want to remove the old-time restrictions of negotiations conducted along a narrow, limited track and to open the door for an appropriate dialogue, as is the norm in our days.
"Knesset Members, we have no interest in Lebanese soil, water or politics. On the contrary, we are interested in an independent and integrated Lebanon which poses no threats to the security of its neighbours. If Lebanon has a clear and independent policy, if it has one army, without the armed Hezbollah gangs, it will be able to return to its old self and to conduct true negotiations with us.
"Knesset Members, following the Knesset's ratification of the agreement with the PLO, the government sent me to the UN General Assembly session and to meetings with the US President, the Vice-President and the Secretary of State, the Jordanian Crown Prince, the President of Portugal, Germany's Chancellor, the UN Secretary-General, and the foreign ministers of 36 countries. I found unprecedented support for Israel. I witnessed unparalleled willingness to help our economic development, improve our international standing, and mainly to strengthen the peace process. I can say without any exaggeration that this process caused general admiration in the entire world, with hardly any sign of criticism and reproach.
"The EC, for example, has decided to expedite negotiations with Israel in order to create a special place for it in the European Free Trade Area. Most of our requests for improving relations with the EC were accepted. They even offered to raise our status in the EC to that of an associate member [havera nilvet] in place of our present status.
"During my visit to the UN General Assembly relations were resumed or established with five more countries: Burkina Faso, Gabon, Mauritius, Cambodia and Turkmenistan. Ghana has also announced its desire to resume diplomatic relations with Israel. In the United Nations itself we notice positive trends of the kind we have not known in the past in relation to Israel. For example, a resolution is being worked out welcoming the Israel-Palestinian agreement. At the same time, many countries are acting toward removing from the agenda mistaken and anachronistic anti-Israeli resolutions.
"A conference for aiding the peace process in the Middle East was held in Washington. During this conference $2 billion was pledged for aiding the implementation of the Israeli-Palestinian agreement. This conference was directed by the US Secretary of State and the Secretary of the Treasury. Israel was represented by its Foreign Minister and its Finance Minister. We played a large part in organizing this conference.
"To those who say that the poor of your own cities should come first, I must add that if we are speaking here about the poor of our cities, then the poor of Gaza are also under Israeli rule. So far Israel has faced this poverty alone. Now we have international support for this. This poverty has always been fertile soil for hatred and violence. We want to uproot poverty from the entire Middle East, because a thriving Middle East will also be a stable Middle East from the security point of view. A thriving Middle East will also be able to absorb immigration properly.
"This is the place to speak about the development of the entire region and our role here. Speaking about development in the Middle East, we must answer two questions: What is Israel's role in developing the region, and what is the correct way to develop it.
"Knesset Members, as far as Israel is concerned, we have no interest in a takeover of the Middle East economy. We have not forgone control over territories in order to gain control over economies. The era of political and economic takeover by means of war vessels or political coercion has gone forever. Today the world competes in goods and services without anybody trying to arouse the anger of somebody else by means of exploitation and coercion.
"Israel does not want to be depicted as an arrogant country which wants to teach other countries lessons. All we are saying is that what is required for the well-being of all the nations in our region - and we must prefer the well-being of nations to the comfort of rulers - is to solve the major problems of all nations in the framework of a regional solution and there is no better solution than a regional solution.
"The issues of water, desertification, tourism and the arms race can be handled only by means of regional agreements. Not by coercion, war, takeovers, but only by means of real cooperation, by lowering economic barriers - as is being done in Europe and the United States. Even when a nation preserves its national ID card, borders should not pose economic restrictions.
"There are certainly different kinds of regimes in our region - this is not Europe. There are also profound differences in the level of national economies. In at least four issues, however, I believe we can reach an agreement despite the differences: One, unless the entire region unites on the issue of desertification the entire region will turn into a desert. This can be done by means of the correct use of water, by recycling water and by desalination projects. By means of a judicious use of its science, technology and planning, Israel has increased its agricultural output twelve fold in 25 years. We did this without cultivating more land and without being blessed with plentiful water.
"Nature and history blessed our region with unparalleled tourism attractions. Jerusalem's eternal nature, the pyramids' power, the beauty of Petra's palaces, the beauty of Baalbek's pillars are unparalleled tourism attractions. All this in a region blessed with a blue sky and summery weather. Tourism can create hundreds of thousands of jobs, encourage calm and create an interest for preserving the calm. What was once the role of military forces can now become the function of large-scale regional tourism.
"Three, we must properly organize a modern economic infrastructure in our region. Oil, gas and water pipelines; roads and railways; new airports and ports; and telecommunications will all turn the region's small geographic dimensions into an economic advantage for all its residents.
"Finally, by means of a coordinated effort we must decrease negative expenses stemming from the excessive arms race, inflated armies, regimes which consume the money of the taxpayers for the purpose of maintaining secret police and debilitating and outdated censorship. All of these purposes will in any case not enjoy foreign aid and have no more place in a world in which the television screens show the youth of the world how it is possible to live in conditions of freedom, progress and movement, rather than in regressive and outmoded conditions and in fear.
"Knesset Members, this is a period of great opportunity for the Jewish nation, a period of great opportunity for Israel, for our region, for our Arab neighbours and other neighbours. We will not despise small things, but neither will we sink into small things. We will preserve our military strength in order to overcome violence and deter enemies. We will also, however, open wide the gates to Jewish immigration and to a new Middle East that will enable all its inhabitants to enter the next century on the side of the winners rather than the losers; on the side of those who have hope rather than the desperate."
Statement by the United States Assistant Secretary of State for
Near Eastern Affairs before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee,
Washington, D.C., 15 October 1993
On 15 October 1993, at Washington, D.C. in a statement before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Mr. Edward P. Djerejian, United States Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, outlined recent developments and the future of the Middle East peace process. He said
"Mr. Chairman and other distinguished members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, it is a pleasure to appear before you, particularly at this propitious moment in the search for Middle East peace. My testimony today will focus on the recent, dramatic developments on the bilateral side of the peace process, touch briefly the multilateral track, and then describe our thoughts about next steps. Following that, I will be happy to take your questions about the peace process or any aspect of our Middle East policy.
"The Donors' Conference
"Barely a month ago, on the South Lawn of the White House, a new era in Middle East politics took shape - an era that, as President Clinton noted, gives the children of the Middle East the chance to know a season of peace. The President made clear that he wanted to move quickly to help turn the historic agreement into reality. Together with our Russian co-sponsors, we organized the October 1 meeting of the Conference to Support Middle East Peace. It was no small success.
"Forty-six countries and international organizations gathered to send the message that the peace talks must not fail. They agreed on the importance of buttressing the Declaration of Principles by offering the Palestinians the material benefits of peace. We all know that it is essential for the Palestinians to see soon that their daily lives are taking a turn for the better and that peace makes a difference.
"The conferees reconfirmed their commitment to improve immediately the conditions of daily life for the Palestinians and, at the same time, to build a structure for long-term economic growth. To meet these objectives, conference participants pledged over $600 million in aid for the first year covered by the Declaration of Principles and $1 billion for the first two years. For the five-year period covered by the agreement, pledges of support approached $2 billion.
"Several countries made pledges for only the first year or two. If their contributions for later years match their pledge for the first two, the total donors' support will jump to $2.4 billion - which meets World Bank estimates for the Palestinians' needs. Let me add that our five-year contribution to this effort is $500 million.
"Conference results were superb, but much remains to be done. For the donors, the first task is to put in place the structure agreed to at the conference for disbursing the aid. Within the Madrid framework, overall coordination among the major donors will take place in an ad hoc liaison committee. This committee will be run at the sub-cabinet level and should meet every three to six months. It will work to ensure coordination and cooperation among the donors. Members will include the United States, Russia, Japan, Canada, the European Community and Saudi Arabia. Israel, the Palestinians, Egypt and Jordan will participate as associate members.
"The World Bank will also play a leading role in this process. It will establish and manage a trust fund to finance technical assistance, training, and feasibility studies. These efforts are designed to assist the Palestinians in creating institutions that will help them manage their political, economic, and humanitarian affairs. UN agencies, including the United Nations Development Programme, will provide both technical and financial assistance to support this effort. The World Bank will also take the lead in developing programmes to support public investment in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. And it will serve as the Secretariat for the ad hoc liaison committee.
"There is an important role for the private sector in promoting economic growth in the West Bank and Gaza. The Palestinians understand the need to create a business-friendly environment. Conference participants intend to encourage private investment through export-financing programmes and investment incentives. Part of the US assistance package includes $125 million in OPIC investment guarantees.
"I would like to underscore one point here. In putting together this aid package and working on its implementation, we have sought to ensure that it is managed efficiently - that there is transparency and accountability so that the recipients reap its full benefits. We will be working in close consultation with other donors and the World Bank and other institutions to achieve this goal. In these tight budget times, we must do no less.
"Through the donors' conference, the international community is doing its part on behalf of Israeli-Palestinian peace. But we must keep our eye on the ball - the major responsibility for advancing the process remains with the parties.
"The Declaration of Principles established an ambitious set of objectives toward which Israel and the Palestinians must work. Prime Minister Rabin and Chairman Arafat did not waste time, taking up this work in an October 6 meeting in Cairo. On 13 October, the day the Declaration entered into force, Israeli Foreign Minister Peres and Abu Mazen convened the first meeting of the Joint Israeli-Palestinian Liaison Committee in Cairo. That meeting got the Liaison Committee off to an excellent start. The Gaza-Jericho and military committees also began their deliberations 13 October in Taba. There, too, the discussions were pragmatic and focused.
"The two sides also have established an Israeli-Palestinian Continuing Committee for Economic Cooperation to consider joint ventures in such areas as water, electricity and trade promotion. Negotiations on a detailed plan for the transfer of authority in education, culture, health, social welfare, direct taxation and tourism will take place in yet another forum in Washington. The declaration also calls for:
"- By December 13:
"- Concluding the agreement on Israeli withdrawal from Gaza and Jericho and beginning the withdrawal;
"- By April 13:
"- Completing the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza and Jericho;
"- Transferring to the Palestinians authority for education, culture, health, social welfare, direct taxation, and tourism;
"- Starting the clock on the 5-year transitional period;
"- Starting to build a Palestinian police force;
"- By July 13:
"- Establishment of the Palestinian police force;
"- Completing Israel Defence Forces redeployment in the West Bank and Gaza outside of populated areas; and
"- As a goal, holding general elections for the Palestinian Interim Self-Government Authority Council.
"The Other Bilaterals
"The Israeli-Palestinian Declaration of Principles was, of course, a historic breakthrough. We expected it to serve as a catalyst elsewhere in the peace process. We have not been disappointed. The day after the signing of the Declaration of Principles, the Israelis and the Jordanians initialled a substantive agenda for their negotiations. This agenda codifies the progress made thus far in their talks and provides the framework for further discussion.
"On 1 October, the day of the donors' conference, Israeli- Jordanian relations took an even more significant step forward. Jordanian Crown Prince Hassan and Israeli Foreign Minister Peres appeared with President Clinton at the White House to announce the creation of a Joint Economic Committee. It was also agreed at that time to create a trilateral US-Israeli-Jordanian Working Group to look at next steps for economic development in those two Middle East countries and how their economic interaction is and can be related to the Palestinian dimension.
"Whereas the Palestinian issue represents the political core of the Arab-Israeli conflict, the Israeli-Syrian negotiations represent the geopolitical or strategic core of the conflict. Therefore, it is essential that every effort be made to encourage tangible progress in the Israeli-Syrian track. While the parties continue to differ over key questions such as land, peace and security, they remain committed to these negotiations with the aim of reaching agreement on their own declaration of principles. The two sides have sought and welcomed active US assistance in the talks. President Clinton and Secretary Christopher have been actively involved in helping move this track forward.
"The President has communicated directly with Syrian President Hafez al-Assad, and Secretary Christopher has been asked by both Prime Minister Rabin and President Assad to be an active intermediary to help the two sides narrow their substantive differences, especially on the key issues of withdrawal and peace. The Administration is determined to do its part. We recognize that much hard work lies ahead.
"Lebanon and Israel are continuing their efforts to reach agreement on a political frame of reference dealing with the key issues of land, peace and security which could then enable them to establish a military committee to discuss the pressing issue of security, especially in southern Lebanon. It is worth noting that those negotiations continued despite the violence on the ground last summer. We are in close contact with both the Israelis and the Lebanese to help facilitate forward movement in the talks and President Clinton and Secretary Christopher had an extensive discussion on the issue with Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri in New York at the United Nations General Assembly earlier this month.
"We remain active in the bilaterals, seeking ways to bring the parties closer together. Our commitment to a just and lasting, comprehensive peace is as firm as ever. And a comprehensive peace means peace on all fronts.
"Complementing the bilateral track is a separate set of multilateral negotiations. These negotiations were designed at the Madrid conference to address key problems which affect the entire Middle East. The multilateral track was meant to be an essential complement to the bilaterals - to tackle those regional problems that are themselves a source of tension and instability. These talks tend to attract less media attention, but they literally have the potential to change the face of the Middle East.
"The multilateral track consists of a steering group and five working groups which reflect issues affecting the lives of ordinary people. There are separate groups for economic development, water resources, the environment, refugees, and arms control and security.
"In addition to Israel and the Palestinians, a broad range of Arab countries - 12 in all - participate in these groups: the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Yemen. I draw your attention to the number of Arab participants. The bilaterals established negotiations between Israel and four Arab parties; the multilaterals brought Israel into contact with eight additional Arab States. This demonstrates that one of the underlying principle to the multilaterals - to normalize Israeli-Arab contact - is sound.
"To deal comprehensively with the problems of the region, we have included key extra-regional parties. Delegations from the UN, Canada, Japan and various European countries add their expertise, resources and energy to addressing the regional problems of the Middle East. As was evident at the 1 October meeting of the Conference to Support Middle East Peace, when given a meaningful role, these countries are more than willing to help share the burden of funding peace in the region.
"The multilateral discussions have proven highly successful. They began in almost seminar form, considering problems on a theoretical plane. But in a number of areas they have since moved to concrete actions: feasibility studies, training projects, building data bases. And a major threshold was recently crossed when it was agreed to convene two of these groups in Arab countries for the fist time. The refugee working group met in Tunis this week and the environment group will meet in Egypt later this fall. Moving the venue to these Arab countries is an important example of how these negotiations are brushing aside long-standing barriers to regional normalization.
"As originally conceived, the multilaterals were designed not just to complement but also to facilitate the bilateral talks. And recent developments have underscored the importance of this second function.
"Some observers have wondered how we were able to organize, so quickly after the signing of the Israeli-Palestinian Declaration of Principles, the Conference to Support Middle East Peace. Let me give you some insight into this development. We understood, long before the breakthrough, that one key element of Israeli-Palestinian peace required improving the living conditions in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. So we started to prepare ourselves for work toward this end.
"Last July - two months before the signing of the Declaration of Principles - I co-chaired a meeting of the Multilateral Steering Group in Moscow. At that meeting, I negotiated, with Faisal Husseini, Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Yossi Beilin, and other members of the group, language for the final statement of the session. That statement `recognized the particular needs of the Palestinians as they moved toward interim self-government arrangements' and expressed the hope that `additional funds will be made available to the Palestinians to meet their current pressing needs and responsibilities.' This was the framework which formed the basis of the donors' conference efforts.
"I have also referred to a World Bank estimate of Palestinian needs in the territories. The study on which this estimate was made was commissioned many months before within the multilateral framework. In short, the multilaterals provided the structure and much of the preliminary work that enabled us to put together a major, successful international conference in a matter of days.
"The robust activities of the multilateral working groups are establishing a pattern of interaction between Israelis and Arabs - at the personal and professional levels - that has transcended political differences. It is an essential cornerstone for normalizing Arab-Israeli relations. We attach great importance to further progress in this track. And we anticipate, as a consequence of the breakthrough on the bilateral track, advancing the multilaterals in the fourth round of working groups that began with the convening of the session on refugees last week in Tunisia.
"The Road Ahead
"The progress that we have made in recent months on both the bilateral and multilateral tracks is encouraging. But now is not the time to rest. That progress is a summons to action.
"We will look at every opportunity to expand the horizon for productive and creative interaction -transcending old taboos - among the peoples of the region. In this regard, one of our principal tasks is to broaden participation in the peace process and expand Arab-Israeli interaction.
"We are urging our Arab interlocutors throughout the Middle East to develop and broaden, outside of the multilateral context, their contact with the Israelis. In the wake of last month's breakthrough, we are seeing some indications of Arab willingness to do just that. The most dramatic instance of this came the day after the signing of the Declaration of Principles. On the way back to Israel, Prime Minister Rabin touched down in Morocco for a well-publicized meeting with King Hassan.
"We would also like to broaden regional participation in the multilateral talks. Syria and Lebanon have, to date, declined to join the multilateral process until there is what they perceive to be concrete progress in the bilateral negotiations. We believe recent developments are sufficient to prompt Syria and Lebanon to take part in this important effort. We are once again encouraging them to join the multilateral process.
"Another challenge is to broaden the scope of economic interaction in the region. The countries of the Middle East share many problems and advantages; all would gain from economic cooperation. The first step toward this must be an end to the Arab boycott. In the past month, the President, the Vice-President and the Secretary have publicly called for an end to the boycott.
"This is our message to boycotting countries, publicly and in diplomatic channels: The boycott is an anachronism completely out of step with recent developments in the peace process. We also continue to remind our Arab counterparts that the secondary and tertiary aspects of the boycott hurt us directly; these aspects discriminate against US and other countries' firms that wish to do business in the Middle East. We are urging our trading partners to join us in our efforts to persuade the Arab States to begin dismantling the boycott.
"But our aim is not just to remove barriers to trade. We would like to see economic cooperation across old political barricades. In light of last month's breakthrough, we are already seeing reports of contacts between Arab and Israeli business executives and, even, the establishment of joint ventures. We expect and encourage more of this. Regional entrepreneurs understand the business opportunities that will accompany the achievement of peace.
"I have been involved in the Middle East for most of my diplomatic career - over 30 years. It has been exciting - boredom is not a characteristic of the Middle East - but the excitement has been that of tragedy marked by wars and terrorism. Standing on the same podium with Chairman Arafat on the White House lawn on September 13, Prime Minister Rabin stated it eloquently when he said:
`Enough! Let us pray that a day will come when we all will say farewell to arms. We wish to open a new chapter in the sad book of our lives together, a chapter of mutual recognition, of good neighbourliness, of mutual respect, of understanding. We hope to embark on a new era in the history of the Middle East'.
"Today, the prospects for a comprehensive Middle East peace have never been stronger. The Israeli-Palestinian Declaration of Principles, the mutual recognition of Israel and the PLO, the sustained engagement of all the major regional parties in the peace process, and our own role as a full partner in the process started at Madrid with the support of the international community; all point us in the right direction. All help make a dream a reality - Israel and each of its Arab neighbours living together in peace. We will do our utmost to achieve this long-sought objective."
Remarks by King Hussein on the issue of Jerusalem,
Amman, 17 October 1993
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times Syndicate's Global Viewpoint Service, conducted at Amman, on 17 October 1993, and carried in
of 28-29 October 1993, King Hussein of Jordan expressed his views on the issue of Jerusalem. He said
"To crown this hope of peace based on new democratic possibilities in the Arab world, I as a Muslim, a Hashemite, an Arab, and as a person who seeks to satisfy my conscience, have called for talks to achieve an accord on the Holy Places in Jerusalem which removes all sovereign claims except for those of Almighty God.
"All followers of the three great monotheistic religions - Muslims, Jews and Christians - should enjoy worshipping side by side, as God meant it to be. If that happens, then the ripples will go not only to our immediate region, but affect the world as well.
"The Holy Places of Jerusalem should be moved out of the orbit of the attempts of any to impose sovereignty over them. That alone belongs to Almighty God.
"The rights of all should be equally recognized. A dialogue should produce the kind of meeting of the followers of the three monotheistic religions aimed at forging a peace, which has not been our fortune for far too long.
"The Holy City should be separated from any temporal sovereignty, which I hope will also represent the coming together of the Palestinians and Israelis on this question.
"The fact is that there already is a sanctuary of the God of Abraham, the Dome of the Rock. It is a unique holy place on the old temple site in Jerusalem. According to the Jewish and Muslim tradition, the Dome of the Rock commemorates not only the blinding of Abraham's son, Isaac, but also the creation of Adam, and will be the scene of world judgement.
"Is it so utterly absurd to believe that Jews, Muslims and Christians could pray to the one God of Abraham at this holy place? In this way, the Dome of the Rock would be a Dome of Reconciliation.
"Jerusalem can be this site of reconciliation. The details will have to be worked out and cannot embrace any specific proposal. But the overall spirit expressed here is what I have in mind."
Text of decision by the Executive Committee of the PLO to establish the
Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Construction,
Tunis, 4 November 1993
On 4 November 1993, at Tunis, the Executive Committee of the PLO decided to establish the Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Construction [al-Majlis al-Iqtisadi l'il-Tanmiyyah wa'l-I'mar]. The following is the text of the decision:
"First: the Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Construction will be set up under the chairmanship of the brother President Yasir Arafat.
"a) The Council will assume the operations for defining the priorities of economic and social development construction and the priorities of development projects. It will assume also the implementation, control and management of these projects on the basis of transparency, clarity, and competence.
"b) The Council is composed of political, intellectual and economic personalities and leaderships among Palestinians from inside and outside our occupied land.
"Second: the board of governors will be composed of the following members and will be responsible to the head of the national authority, the PLO chairman:
1. Brother Farouk Kaddoumi vice chairman
2. Brother Muhammad Zuhdi al-Nashashibi vice chairman
3. Brother Ahmad Qurei delegated member
4. Brother Dr. Sari Nusseibeh assistant director- general
5. Brother Dr. Yusif Sayigh member
6. Brother Dr. Antoine Zahalan member
7. Brother Ibrahim Dakkak member
8. Brother Nabil al-Sharif member
9. Brother Dr. Muhammad al-Samhuri member
10. Brother Dr. Khalil al-Hindi member
11. Brother Dr. Sufyan Sultan member
12. Brother Tahir Kanaan member
13. Brother Mustafa Murtajah member
14. Brother Dr. Nabil Qassis member
"Third: the following administrations will be attached to this Authority: The Administration of the Economic Policies and the Selection of Projects; the Administration of Coordinating and Facilitating the Arrival of Aid; the Administration of Supervising and Management of Projects; the Administration of Management and Auxiliary Services; the Administration of Technical Assistance and Training; any other administrations required by the nature of the work.
"Fourth: The Authority will draw up the internal statute and the work procedure of the administration and will decide the appointments according to the operative procedures and regulations.
"Fifth: This decision will come into force as of its date, and will be communicated to all those who are required to implement it."
Extracts from an address by King Hussein before the Parliament,
Amman, 23 November 1993
On 23 November 1993, at Amman, in his speech from the throne at the inauguration of the first ordinary session of the 12th Jordanian Parliament, King Hussein stated
"Honourable Senators, Honourable Deputies: Your present assembly coincides with an international political, economic and strategic phase which has, over the last few years, seen increasingly rapid changes posing major challenges at the Arab, regional, and international levels. Our country has been able to stand firm in facing these challenges and to persist in making determined, confident and steadfast progress.
"The issue of peace has entered a new stage requiring us to take a strong stand stemming from our national unity, from our constant positions rooted in international legitimacy and from our unwavering determination to achieve a just, durable and honourable peace which future generations would accept and preserve. Such a peace would be based on the restoration of all our rights, would guarantee the legitimate rights of our fraternal Palestinian people on their national soil, and would provide security and peace to all the States and peoples of the region. To this end, we gave our support to the position taken by the Palestinian people as represented by the PLO. We provided an umbrella ensuring legitimacy for their negotiating team, in a spirit of truthfulness, brotherhood, and sincere openness that must prevail among brethren, and the need to support the PLO in realizing its national identity.
"The PLO, in full freedom and by its own free choice, has adopted an independent position, thus bearing its historic responsibility. It concluded a Declaration of Principles with Israel on 13 September 1993; and Israel recognized the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian people. Israel also recognized the unity of the Palestinian people within and outside the occupied territories. The independent Palestinian will has thus been confirmed. This recognition has been supported by the great world powers and, indeed, by most world States. Furthermore, the PLO recognized the State of Israel. Old enemies shook hands. Pursuant to our commitment to respect and support the independent Palestinian decision-making since the Rabat summit of 1974, we support the PLO and respect its right to work to realize the goals of the fraternal Palestinian people as well as those of their central and basic cause. We shall do everything in our power to extend this support. To epitomize this conviction, my Government persistently instructed the Jordanian negotiating team to bide its time, waiting for progress on the Palestinian-Israeli track. Hence, as soon as the Israeli-Palestinian Declaration of Principles was signed, with all that this development entailed, my Government instructed the head of our negotiating team to sign the Jordanian-Israeli negotiations agenda on 14 September 1993, thus heralding the start of efforts to proceed toward peace in foolproof and wise steps, confident of the ability of our Government, your august assembly, and our courageous people to cooperate among themselves so that they may face the challenges of the next phase and its responsibilities with faith, loyalty and determination.
"This would lead us to the dawning of peace, the peace of which the peoples of the whole region have so far been deprived. Such peace would bring forth satisfaction and stability, open wide horizons for the progress and advancement of humanity and provide man with the opportunities for a decent life, thus eliminating all differences among all parties.
"I am fully confident and I have absolute faith that we all believe that a just and comprehensive peace will not be realized and completed until Jerusalem becomes the city of peace, its symbol and its presence, once its occupied Arab land is returned to its owners who have inherited it from their Arab forefathers, Muslims and Christians alike, once it becomes the meeting point between the Palestinians and Israelis, and once it becomes a meeting point of peace for all.
"Our commitment to the achievement of peace is a duty we owe to future generations. And this commitment prompts us to adopt an honest and sincere stance that wants Jerusalem to be the eternal symbol of peace in the world among the followers of the three monotheistic religions, all of which are descendants of the Prophet Abraham, may God's peace be upon him.
"As for Jerusalem, the holiest of holies, it lies in the hearts and souls of all believers in God, followers of the three monotheistic faiths. We will recognize no sovereignty over it except for that of Almighty God, glory to Him. From this august rostrum, I would like to renew the call I made in my address to the nation on 12 October for the creation of a grand non-political Arab-Islamic body that would unite Muslims, bring them together, and represent the seven Muslim sects, one that would rise above the mundane and trivial. Such a body would be assigned the task of caring for and overseeing Islamic holy places. We would like to affirm that we will support such a body with all the means and resources at our disposal. Moreover, we will not cede or give up our religious and historical responsibilities towards Jerusalem and towards al-Awqaf and Islamic holy places in Palestine. At the same time, we call for the start of an inter-religious dialogue among the followers of the three monotheistic religions to realize God's will, which ordained that holy Jerusalem be the closest to their hearts, so that they may worship Almighty God, compete to show fear of Him, and gain his satisfaction, glory to God.
"Stemming from the legitimacy of our historical and religious responsibilities and from our keen determination to protect and preserve our holy places, we are continuing restoration and renovation work on the Dome of the Rock, as well as capping it with gold-enamelled copper plates. I thank Almighty God who has allowed me to do this, serving the cause of the first of the two kiblahs and the third holy mosque. The restoration committee is currently engaged in reconstructing the pulpit of the holy al-Aqsa Mosque, under my direct supervision, in the wake of the message I addressed to my Government in this regard. This is being done so the pulpit of the Prophet and the forerunners will once again play its historic role in guiding the believers."
Address by the United States Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern
Affairs before the Los Angeles World Affairs Council,
Los Angeles, 30 November 1993
On 30 November 1993, in his statement entitled "War and Peace: Problems and Prospects of American Diplomacy in the Middle East", Mr. Edward P. Djerejian, United States Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, explained the policy of the United States Administration in the region of the Middle East:
"At its most basic level, foreign policy is concerned with the questions of war and peace. As we move into the post-cold war era, other issues - especially transnational ones such as economics, the environment, human rights and democratization - have rightly taken a more prominent place on the foreign policy agenda. But as the headlines remind us - from Tajikistan to the Caucasus to the Balkans, from the Persian Gulf to the Horn of Africa - the primordial issues of conflict and reconciliation have a chronic way of reasserting themselves.
"The politics of war and peace have a particular resonance in the Middle East. David Fromkin reminds us in his book on the creation of the modern Middle East (1914-22)
* that this region, as we know it today, emerged from decisions made by the Allies during and after World War I. He quotes Archibald Wavell, an officer who served under Allenby in the Palestine campaign, commenting on the treaties bringing the First World War to an end:
`After the war to end all war, they seem to have been pretty successful in Paris at making "a peace to end all peace".'
"Indeed, the history of the region has been plagued with conflict.
I have been involved during a good part of my 30 years in the Foreign Service in Middle East affairs. Over this period, American interests in the area have been challenged by war along two axes: in the Levant, which is at the crossroads of Asia, Africa and Europe; and in the Persian Gulf.
"The Arab-Israeli conflict has turned into a shooting war at least five times since the founding of Israel in 1948 and has affected US interests in the region as a whole. One of the basic tenets of our policy throughout this period was and remains our commitment to Israel's security and well-being. That commitment, I underscore, is unshakable. This is especially the case as Israel takes the risks for peace in the Arab-Israeli peace process.
"Our interests in the region also have been threatened by the efforts of one power or another to achieve undue influence in the Persian Gulf. I do not need to belabour the strategic importance of this area: 65 per cent of the world's known petroleum reserves are located there. Our willingness to commit human and material resources for its defence demonstrates the importance of our interests in the Persian Gulf area. Dangers posed by the Iran-Iraq war led us to provide armed convoys for shipping in the Gulf in the 1980s. And, of course, Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait prompted a US-led coalition to take up arms to roll back Iraq's aggression against Kuwait.
"In short, regional conflict threatens our objectives of promoting stability, broadened political participation, economic growth and social justice in the Middle East. Weapons of mass destruction pose a serious threat to the region as a whole; the rise of extremism in either a religious or a secular guise is an important and destabilizing factor; unresolved political conflicts and border disputes need to be addressed peacefully through negotiations and not by military means; and the increasingly pressing needs of the people of the region for broader political participation and social and economic justice must be addressed in a much more responsive manner by Governments.
"We have, therefore, a major interest not just in preventing the outbreak of conflict and promoting the peaceful resolution of disputes, but also in changing the behaviour and limiting the means at the disposal of potential warmakers and in isolating extremists willing to pursue the options of destabilization and conflict. These elements inform one side of our policy in the region that can be defined as preventive diplomacy and deterrence.
"Promoting Security in the [Persian] Gulf
"In this vein, a key objective is to ensure the physical security of the Persian Gulf - to reduce the chances that another aggressor will emerge to seek control over the area, threaten the independence of existing States, and dictate policy in the region. In the wake of the Gulf war of 1991, we have been working toward this in a number of ways. Part of our strategy has been to build up the defence capabilities of our friends in the area. In this connection:
"- We have encouraged the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council [GCC] to work more closely together on collective defence and security arrangements;
"- We have helped individual GCC countries meet their appropriate defence requirements, including arms sales that increase their capabilities to conduct coordinated operations with US and other GCC forces; and
"- We have worked to build up our own ability to act in the region by maintaining strong forces there, by pre-positioning vital equipment and material and by concluding access agreements with four GCC States. We hope to sign a new agreement with a fifth GCC State early next month.
"Our goal here is to complement, not replace, the Gulf States' collective security efforts. We do not intend to station troops permanently anywhere in the region. Our objective is to deter threats and to raise the threshold at which direct US military action would be needed.
"Another element of our strategy in the Gulf is to circumscribe potential threats to the region. Today, those threats are likely to come from two sources - Iraq and Iran.
"Iraq remains a regional power with a long-term potential to threaten regional and US interests, but it is subject to an extensive and highly rigorous set of international restrictions, under the aegis of the United Nations, on its freedom of action. In this context, our goal is unambiguous - Iraq's full compliance with all UN Security Council resolutions and with the measures taken by the international coalition to enforce and monitor them.
"There is no convincing evidence that Saddam Hussein's regime is prepared to meet this standard. Iraq is not, at this time, in full compliance with any of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions. It has not even met the requirements of the resolution that ended the fighting in the Gulf war. With such a record, Iraq's calls for negotiations to end international sanctions are, at best, premature.
"Let me be clear: We bear no ill will toward the Iraqi people. Saddam Hussein's regime's brutal repression of its civilian population is a matter of horrific record. The Iraqi Government could today alleviate the suffering of the Iraqi people by ceasing its repression, especially in the north against the Kurds and in the south against the Shiites, and by taking advantage of UN Security Council resolutions 706 [(1991)] and 712 [(1991)], which allow Iraq to sell limited oil exports under UN control to purchase food, medicine, and other humanitarian goods.
"We have never called into question Iraq's territorial integrity, which should be maintained. In sum, we are determined that the will of the international community as expressed in UN Security Council resolutions be enforced to ensure that Iraq can never again threaten its neighbours or pose a threat to peace.
"As for Iran, we have very deep and serious concerns about its behaviour in five areas:
"- Iran's quest for nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction and the means for their delivery;
"- Iran's continued involvement in terrorism and assassination worldwide;
"- Iran's opposition to the Arab-Israeli peace process and its support for groups like Hezbollah that seek to obstruct the peace process through violence;
"- Iran's threats and subversive activities against its neighbours; and
"- Iran's dismal human rights record at home.
"Our policy is not aimed at changing the Iranian Government but at inducing Iran to change its behaviour in these areas. We have made clear that we are prepared to enter into dialogue with authorized representatives of the Iranian Government to discuss the differences between us. We seek to persuade Iran that it cannot expect to enjoy normal State-to-State relations so long as it violates the norms of the international community. This means working with members of the international community to deny Iran access to technology and other means by which it can facilitate the pursuit of policies of destabilization, terrorism and acquisition of weapons of mass destruction.
"Stanching the Flow of Weapons of Mass Destruction
"An important part of the threats posed by Iraq and Iran - and other regional actors, such as Libya [the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya] - stems from their efforts to acquire and develop non-conventional weaponry and advanced conventional arms. So a central policy objective is to stanch the flow of weapons of mass destruction into the region. In any future conflict in the Middle East, the use of such weapons would have devastating consequences and every effort must be made to prevent this worst-case scenario. Already, the Middle East is one of the most heavily-armed regions in the world.
"We have several initiatives under way to address this problem. These include seeking accession by regional parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention, the Biological Weapons Convention and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Our arms control in the Middle East Initiative addresses the influx of advanced and destabilizing conventional weapons into the region. The multilateral working group on arms control and regional stability set up at the Madrid peace conference continues its valuable work exploring confidence-building measures.
"Political Extremism and Terrorism
"The aggressive designs of regional powers are not the only source of turmoil in the Middle East. The emergence of extremist movements and terrorism also contributes to regional instability.
"Let me reflect for a moment on the question of political extremism - either secular or religious. When I joined the Foreign Service in the early 1960s, secular and radical Arab nationalism was in its heyday. I witnessed the phenomenon first-hand in Beirut, which hosted an array of Arab nationalist parties from all over the Middle East. The years since then have overtaken this movement. Its appeal has diminished in the Arab "street". In its place, in part - reflecting how the Middle East is coping with the challenge of modernity and the pressing economic, social and educational requirements of a burgeoning, youthful population - we have witnessed an Islamic revival in all its diversity.
"This revival causes a great deal of apprehension and misunderstanding. Some say that it is causing a widening gap between Western values and those of the Muslim world. It is important to assess this phenomenon carefully so that we do not fall victim to misplaced fears. I dealt with this subject in more detail in a speech I gave at Meridian House in June 1992.
"In sum, the cold war is not being replaced with a new competition between Islam and the West. Americans recognize Islam as one of the world's great faiths. It is practiced on every continent. It counts among its adherents millions of citizens of the United States. As Westerners, we acknowledge Islam as a historic civilizing force among the many that have influenced and enriched our culture.
"In countries throughout the Middle East and North Africa, we see groups or movements seeking to reform their societies in keeping with Islamic beliefs and ideals. Considerable diversity exists in the expression of Islamic aspirations. What we see are believers in different countries placing renewed emphasis on Islamic principles, and Governments accommodating Islamic political activity to varying degrees and in different ways.
"Indeed, the Arab world's approach to political participation is varied, with parliamentary elections in Yemen, Jordan and Kuwait and the establishment of consultative councils in some of the Gulf countries including Saudi Arabia, Oman and the UAE. In Jordan, the Islamic groups have participated fully in the election process. In Algeria, the electoral process was suspended and the Government is coping with the requirements of political and economic reform.
"We detect no monolithic, international effort behind these Islamic movements, but we are seriously concerned over Iran's exploitation of Islamic extremist groups throughout the region and over Sudan's role in supporting such groups in North Africa. Increasing coordination between such regimes and extremist groups and their resort to terrorism demands our vigilance. In the last analysis, however, it is social injustice - the lack of economic, educational and political opportunities - that gives the extremists their constituency in each country.
"With this in mind, our efforts to combat extremism and terrorism have several facets. We start from the premise of our own basic values as Americans: respect for human rights, pluralism, women's and minority rights and popular participation in government. On the one hand, we seek to address the political, social and economic conditions that serve as a spawning ground for extremist movements. On the other hand, we take vigorous action to deter, isolate and punish terrorist groups and to deal firmly with states that support terrorism. The UN embargo placed on Libya for its role in the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 and UTA flight 772 is a clear reminder of our - and the international community's - strong stance against State-sponsored terrorism.
"Changing the Middle East Equation: The Peace Option
"The elements of our policy that I have addressed thus far are, in a sense, of a deterrent and defensive nature, designed to avert, deter or contain the dangers of war, terrorism and extremism. That is only one side of the story. I have come here to talk about war and peace in the Middle East. And the good news of late from the region concerns the prospects for and the first breakthroughs towards peace since the Camp David accords.
"Let me begin with a personal observation. During my years with the State Department, successive US Administrations wrestled with the seemingly intractable problems of the Near East. Peace initiatives were launched and launched again in hopes of finding solutions to the region's wars, terrorism, assassinations and deep-rooted animosities. Those of us working on these issues exploited any viable opening to bring the antagonists together. Our efforts often met with frustration or were interrupted by unexpected tragedies. Some did succeed, such as the Camp David accords.
"Having experienced this, I can tell you that there is something different again in the air these days. Israel's and the PLO's decision to recognize each other and their 13 September signing at the White House of the Declaration of Principles have opened a new vista in which we can see, perhaps for the first time, the outlines of an enduring and comprehensive Middle East peace settlement.
"The Donors' Conference
"Let us review what has happened. Two weeks after the signing of the Declaration of Principles, together with our Russian co-sponsors, we organized the Conference to Support Middle East Peace. Forty-six countries and international organizations pledged more than $600 million in aid for the first year covered by the Declaration of Principles, and $1 billion for the first two years. For the five-year period covered by the agreement, pledges of support approached $2 billion. The US contribution is $500 million over five years.
"The purpose of the conference is to help improve conditions on the ground - in the West Bank and Gaza - so the people who live there will see material improvements in their lives. Once they see that they have a stake in this peace process, they will make it work. By holding this conference, the international community was sending the signal that this peace effort must not fail. But this is only part of the story. The major responsibility for advancing the process rests with the parties. Let us not forget that the two fundamental precepts of the peace process launched at Madrid are: first, UN Security Council resolutions 242 [(1967)] and 338 [(1973)], which are based on the principle of land for peace; and second, direct face-to-face negotiations between Israel and its Arab neighbours.
"Within this framework, the Declaration of Principles established an ambitious set of objectives toward which Israelis and Palestinians must work. Among other things, it calls for:
"- Concluding an agreement by 13 December 1993, on Israeli withdrawal from Gaza and Jericho and the structure of the withdrawal;
"- Completing Israeli withdrawal and transferring authority in Gaza and Jericho to the Palestinians by 13 April 1994; and
"- Elections for an interim self-government authority in the West Bank and Gaza by 13 July 1994.
"Prime Minister Rabin and Chairman Arafat moved quickly to take up this work in an October 6 meeting in Cairo. A number of rounds of talks on Israeli withdrawal and security issues have been held in recent weeks in Egypt. Difficulties have arisen on some key questions, but the Israelis and the Palestinians have been working them out directly and constructively in subsequent talks. These meetings demonstrate that the hard work of peace-making is under way.
"The Other Bilaterals
"My tenure as Assistant Secretary coincided with the start of the Madrid peace process, when Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and the Palestinians agreed to commence bilateral negotiations with Israel. Those of us involved with the talks thought that the key to success toward a comprehensive settlement was achieving a breakthrough in one area that could spur progress in the other negotiating tracks. The Israeli-Palestinian Declaration of Principles seems to have provided that catalyst.
"The day after the signing of the Declaration of Principles, the Israelis and the Jordanians initialled a substantive common agenda for their negotiations. This agenda codifies the progress made thus far in their talks and provides the framework for further discussion leading to a final settlement.
"October 1, the day of the Donors' Conference, Israeli-Jordanian relations took a more dramatic step forward. Jordanian Crown Prince Hassan and Israeli Foreign Minister Peres appeared with President Clinton at the White House to announce the creation of a trilateral US-Israel-Jordan Economic Committee to look at next steps for economic development in the two Middle Eastern countries and how they will work with the Palestinians in Gaza and Jericho. That Committee held its first meeting three weeks ago in Paris and will meet again next week in Washington.
"While the Palestinian issue is the political heart of the Arab-Israeli conflict, the Israel-Syria negotiations address the conflict's core geopolitical and strategic issues. Therefore, tangible progress in the Israel-Syria track is essential to securing a comprehensive regional settlement. While the parties continue to differ over key questions such as land, peace and security, they remain committed to these negotiations with the aim of reaching agreement on their own Declaration of Principles. President Clinton and Secretary Christopher have been directly and actively involved in helping move this track forward.
"Lebanon and Israel are continuing in their effort to reach agreement on a political frame of reference dealing with the key issues of land and peace and to establish a Military Committee to discuss the pressing issue of security, especially in southern Lebanon. In this respect, let me reiterate our firm commitment to Lebanon's political independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.
"We remain active in all the bilaterals, seeking ways to bring the parties closer together. President Mubarak's visit in October and Prime Minister Rabin's visit earlier this month were opportunities to exchange views with key players at the highest levels. With Secretary Christopher's trip to the region next week, we will continue to explore the openings in pursuit of a genuine, lasting and comprehensive peace - a peace on all fronts.
"We are heartened by the significant progress in recent months and are following up energetically in the bilateral negotiations. But extraordinary opportunities remain, beyond the bilaterals, to expand the horizon for productive and creative interaction transcending old taboos among the peoples of the region.
"Look at the signs. They are everywhere. In the working groups on the multilateral side of the peace process, Israelis and interlocutors from 12 Arab countries are taking on issues of mutual interest regarding arms control, the environment, economic development, water and refugees. This fall, the multilaterals reached another milestone as the refugee working group met in Tunis and the environmental group met in Cairo, putting working groups into the region for the first time.
"Outside the multilaterals, the barriers to Arab-Israeli normalization are also falling. This was evident after the signing of the Declaration of Principles. On the way back to Israel, Prime Minister Rabin stopped in Morocco for a well-publicized meeting with King Hassan.
"But we must overcome and remove continuing barriers to reconciliation and cooperation. First and foremost, we must broaden the scope of economic interaction in the region. The countries of the Middle East share many problems and advantages. All would gain from economic integration. A key first step toward this must be an end to the Arab boycott.
"The Israelis have made a major gesture in their agreement with the PLO. The Arab world must reciprocate. In light of the latest advances in the peace process - and especially when Israel and the PLO are discussing economic issues in a joint committee - the boycott is an anachronism. It punishes Palestinians and Israelis alike. It punishes American business people and companies. It is time to end it.
"In light of the breakthrough last month, we are already seeing reports of contacts between Arab and Israeli businessmen and women and even the establishment of joint ventures. Regional entrepreneurs understand the business opportunities that will accompany the achievement of peace. Indeed, this is precisely the kind of cooperation that will cement the peace and make it real.
"Closing the Circle: Limiting the Cycle of War
"Progress towards Arab-Israeli peace is important to us on several levels. On the most immediate one, resolving the long-standing antagonisms between Israel and its neighbours is the most direct way to ensure Israel's long-term security and well-being and to reduce tensions in the Levant.
"Yet on a broader level, progress in the Arab-Israeli peace process contributes to stability in a major way by circumscribing the option of conflict and war throughout the Middle East. It does so in different ways:
"- Since the creation of Israel, extremists in the region have exploited the Palestinian issue to advance their political agendas. Resolving Palestinian-Israeli differences removes a key rallying point for radical elements - secular and religious.
"- The arms race in the Middle East is partly fuelled by the Arab-Israeli conflict. Its resolution should lead to some easing in arms acquisitions and the lessening of heavy burdens of defence expenditures for Israel and Arab countries alike. The hoped-for savings can go into urgently needed economic and social programmes.
"- According to population projections by the United Nations, the Middle East's population is likely to double in the next 30 years. By 2025, between 490 million and 560 million people could be living in the Middle East. The implication of this growth on the delicate balance among people, politics and resources, especially water, is evident. The work begun in the multilateral working groups on these key issues is an important first step as the Governments and peoples of the area look to regional solutions to pressing political, economic and social needs.
"As I look back at the period I have been Assistant Secretary since 1991, and before I assume my new duties as Ambassador to Israel early next year, I am at once hopeful and prudent. While essential and historic in its consequences, a fair and comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace is no panacea. As I outlined earlier, the Middle East remains a dangerous neighbourhood. It would not banish the spectre of war or terrorism from the Middle East. It would not diminish the efforts of Iraq and Iran to acquire weapons of mass destruction.
"But contrary to what happened in the post-World War I period, it could be a peace to build a larger peace. It would help marginalize the extremists and the enemies of peace. It would greatly strengthen the hands of all moderate forces seeking stability, cooperation and socio-economic progress in the Middle East. It would enable the core parties to the conflict to turn more of their attention inward, to devote their resources to building the necessary political and economic infrastructure for development. Further, it would provide the basis for effective regional cooperation at various levels. It would also portray to the region and the world that ancient animosities are susceptible to peaceful, diplomatic resolution.
"Statecraft has no more compelling goal than to seek and consolidate peace and reconciliation between countries and peoples. Where else can this be more significant than in the Middle East, where three of the worlds' major religions originated - Judaism, Christianity and Islam? President Clinton, Secretary Christopher and all of us involved in carrying out our policy will do everything in our power to make that goal the reality in tomorrow's Middle East."
Remarks by the United States Secretary of State following a meeting
with President Hafez al-Assad, Damascus, 5 December 1993
On 5 December 1993, at Damascus, during a news conference following a meeting with the President of the Syrian Arab Republic, Hafez al-Assad, the United States Secretary of State Warren Christopher made the following statement:
"I've just come from a meeting with President Assad that lasted almost four hours. Foreign Minister Farouk al-Sharaa of Syria was also along, and I was accompanied by Dennis Ross, our Middle East coordinator. We discussed a number of subjects relating to the peace process. The meeting was long and detailed and quite intense. I would say that it was constructive from my standpoint. I felt the discussion revealed a desire to move forward in the peace process, but I want to make it clear that I'm not able to give you anything in detail tonight.
"I'll be returning to Israel the day after tomorrow and reporting to Prime Minister Rabin at that time, and, of course, I'll be reporting to President Clinton either tonight or tomorrow, so you'll understand that I'm not able to go into detail with respect to the meeting.
"I will say that I felt a strong desire on the part of President Assad to move forward with the peace process and I felt the same way with the meeting last night with Prime Minister Rabin. The meeting, I think, was just another step in the process that's going to be long and requires a good deal of hard work and patience.
"I'll be coming back here on Thursday - President Assad has agreed to meet with me late on Thursday morning. After that, I would think that probably Foreign Minister Sharaa and I will be having a press conference in which we can give you a more detailed readout.
"I do have something quite important to report tonight, though. I'm very pleased to announce that for humanitarian reasons, Syria has agreed to invite a small team of congressional staffers to visit Syria and Lebanon at the beginning of next month to help resolve the questions of the Israeli missing in action. The team will come from the House Foreign Affairs Committee, which, of course, is chaired by Lee Hamilton. The Syrian Government has offered to facilitate the work of this team to help it in making contacts with those who may have information about the Israeli missing in action. This is an important humanitarian gesture by the Syrian Government. I welcome it. I'm going to be meeting with the families of the missing in action when I return to Israel later this week and I'll be very pleased to have this to report to them.
"As I say, I don't have very much in detail to report to you about the meeting today, except that I did feel that it was a constructive, positive exchange between the President and myself which went on, as I said, for nearly four hours. After I finish here tonight, a senior Administration official will be here to answer more of your questions as to any of the details that we might be able to make available tonight. I don't want to foreshadow that we're really going to be making available more details on Thursday that we can tonight."
Remarks at a news conference by the United States Secretary
of State and the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the PLO
Amman, 6 December 1993
The following are the opening remarks made by the United States Secretary of State Warren Christopher and the Chairman of the PLO Executive Committee Yasser Arafat at a news conference held on 6 December 1993, at Amman:
Secretary of State Warren Christopher
"Good evening. I have just finished a good discussion with PLO Chairman Arafat. We covered a variety of issues pertaining to the implementation of the Israeli-PLO Declaration of Principles.
"It is my firm belief that timely implementation of this agreement offers the very best opportunity for the Israelis and the Palestinians to put an end to the conflict between them. Implementation will produce a turning point for both the Palestinians and the Israelis. It will mark the beginning of a new day in the Middle East, with new hopes and new possibilities. Much hard work certainly lies ahead, but both parties have demonstrated their commitment to the historic agreement that they signed three months ago. In my talks with Mr. Arafat, he made it clear that he is determined not to allow this opportunity to slip away and to keep focused on achieving concrete results.
"It is essential that the Palestinians be prepared now to make the key political and economic decisions and the Chairman and I discussed those. They are difficult decisions and I know he faces many difficulties in confronting them. When those decisions are taken, the international community can help more quickly develop the territories and help the Palestinians build the essential institutions.
"Credible structures to receive the assistance need to be put in place and the Chairman enlightened me about the structures that he has been setting up to receive and handle the assistance. So it was a useful meeting, particularly in that respect.
"It is up to the parties themselves, of course, to reach agreements through their negotiations and I think they are working hard to do so against tome tough deadlines. The United States will continue to try to help build international support for these negotiations and to address the specific requirements that the parties identify as necessary to implement the agreements. I indicated to Chairman Arafat in this connection that the United States is looking for ways to make available non-lethal assistance to the Palestinian police force.
"There are so many who would like this agreement to fail and who would use violence and terror to bring that about. We cannot allow them to succeed - to undermine what the Israelis and the Palestinians achieved on 13 September and what they can achieve in the future. Thank you very much."
Chairman of the Executive Committee of the PLO, Yasser Arafat
"It is my pleasure to meet with Secretary Christopher here in Amman, a brotherly country with whom we have very strong ties. From here I send my highest regards to His Majesty, King Hussein, for facilitating this meeting. This meeting was positive and fruitful and we have talked freely and frankly.
"I would like to thank Secretary Christopher for his patience and for listening to our troubles - either those which are related to the escalation in our occupied territories or problems that we are facing on the negotiating track. I assured the Secretary - so that he can convey our assurances to President Clinton - that we are committed fully to the peace process.
"We have also agreed on the importance of the efforts that are being exerted by Secretary Christopher and the American Administration, in general, to narrow the gaps between us and the Israelis during the negotiations regarding withdrawal or the problems surrounding the Jericho issue and the release of prisoners. We truly hope to reach an agreement to implement the agreement we signed on 13 September, and to be able to implement that agreement on 13 December.
"I would also like to thank Secretary Christopher for his efforts regarding his work with the World Bank and the donors who are trying to help the Palestinian people to start their new lives and to build the infrastructure that has been totally destroyed over the years. The meeting was useful, positive and fruitful."
Remarks at a news conference by the Foreign Minister of the Syrian
Arab Republic and the United States Secretary of State,
Damascus, 9 December 1993
On 9 December 1993, at Damascus, the following opening remarks were made at a news conference by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Syrian Arab Republic, Farouk al-Sharaa, and the United States Secretary of State Warren Christopher:
Foreign Minister Farouk al-Sharaa
"Ladies and gentlemen: First of all, I would like to thank you for being patient with us. We are late one hour.
"Before giving the floor to Secretary Christopher, I would like to describe the talks he had with His excellency, President Hafez al-Assad. Those talks were positive and fruitful and were conducted in a cordial and frank atmosphere. We appreciated the efforts that have been exerted by Secretary Christopher during his tour in the region. These efforts will help to push the peace process forward. We hope the region might witness the achievement of a just and comprehensive peace.
"Secretary Christopher has prepared a statement which contains a number of steps which, generally, have been agreed upon, and I hope these steps will pave the way for the resumption of the next round of peace talks in Washington. Mr. Secretary."
Secretary of State Warren Christopher
"Thank you. I have just had a productive discussion with President Assad and Foreign Minister Sharaa. I also spoke on the phone this morning to Prime Minister Hariri of Lebanon.
"On the basis of these talks and my other meetings in the region, I am pleased to announce that the parties have agreed to resume negotiations in Washington, D.C. To help prepare for those negotiations and to try to increase the likelihood that they make progress, we have agreed on some new steps.
"First, I have invited Lebanon and Syria to send the heads of their delegation to Washington in early January for preparatory consultations with the United States on the key substantive issues.
"Second, following these consultations with the United States, all delegation heads will come to Washington on or about 18 January to meet with their counterparts for simplified and streamlined talks. We and the other parties believe that these discussions are the best way to prepare for a fully productive next round.
"Third, it is expected that the heads of delegations, in consultation with the co-sponsors, will recommend that the formal negotiations resume at the end of the month or in February.
"Taken together, we believe that these steps will energize the peace process.
"From the outset of the Clinton Administration, we have set as our objective a comprehensive and secure peace. Since the summer, a breakthrough has been achieved on the Israeli-Palestinian track, and negotiations between Jordan and Israel have moved forward. With the resumption of negotiations in January, I believe that genuine progress can also be made on the Syrian and the Lebanese tracks.
"Against this background, President Clinton and President Assad have agreed to meet in Geneva in mid-January. President Clinton has met with the other heads of Government involved in the peace process in his first year in office. Such discussions, at the highest level, are important to our role as a full partner and active intermediary in the peace process. President Clinton views this meeting with President Assad as an opportunity to discuss the requirements for reaching a peace agreement between Israel and Syria pursuant to UN [(Security Council)] resolutions 242 [(1967)] and 338 [(1973)]. These meetings - this meeting, in particular, in Geneva - will help put in place a vital cornerstone in our efforts to build a comprehensive and lasting peace for all the people of this troubled region."
Documents and statements on relations between
the Holy See and the State of Israel,
29 and 30 December 1993
Joint communiqué on Holy See-Israel relations,
Vatican City, 29 December 1993
"Today, 29 December 1993, in the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the Bilateral Permanent Working Commission, established by the Holy See and the State of Israel, has held its plenary session - after the constituent one on 29 July 1992 and the following one on 19 November 1992.
"The Commission considered the work done to date by its `level of experts' and expressed its appreciation both for the climate of sincere cooperation and mutual trust that characterized and facilitated the talks and for the notable results. Thereupon the plenary Commission approved the draft `Fundamental Agreement between the Holy See and the State of Israel' earlier adopted by Commission's `level of experts.' This Agreement will be signed in Jerusalem tomorrow. The Commission is looking forward to the continuation of its work following the signature of the `Fundamental Agreement' with a view to its implementation.
"The Delegation of the Holy See was headed by Monsignor Claudio M. Celli, Under-Secretary for Relations with the States, and the Delegation of the State of Israel was headed by Dr. Yossi Beilin, Deputy Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
"Members of the Delegation of the Holy See were: Archbishop Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo, Apostolic Delegate in Jerusalem; Fr. Marco Brogi, OFM, Under-Secretary of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches; Msgr. Luigi Gatti, of the Secretariat of State's Section for Relations with the States; Fr. David M. Jaeger, OFM, Judicial Vicar, Austin (Texas), Adviser to the Apostolic Delegate in Jerusalem.
"Members of the Delegation of the State of Israel were: Mr. Aviezer Pazner, Ambassador of Israel, Rome; Dr. Israel Lippel, Senior Adviser to the Minster of Religious Affairs; Mr. Eitan Margalit, Adviser to the Minister on Interreligious Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Mr. Shlomo Gur, Minister Counsellor, Bureau of the Deputy Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Ms. Miriam Ziv, Minister Counsellor Embassy of Israel, Rome; Rabbi David Rosen, Adviser to the Commission; Mr. Avraham Talmor, Deputy Director, International Department, Ministry of Finance; Mr. Yuval Rotem, Assistant to the Deputy Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs."
Fundamental Agreement between the Holy See and the State of Israel,
Jerusalem, 30 December 1993
The Holy See and the State of Israel
of the singular character and universal significance of the Holy Land;
of the unique nature of the relationship between the Catholic Church and the Jewish people, and of the historic process of reconciliation and growth in mutual understanding and friendship between Catholics and Jews;
on 29 July 1992 to establish a "Bilateral Permanent Working Commission", in order to study and define together issues of common interest, and in view of normalizing their relations;
that the work of the afore-mentioned Commission has produced sufficient material for a first and Fundamental Agreement;
that such Agreement will provide a sound and lasting basis for the continued development of their present and future relations and for the furtherance of the Commission's task;
upon the following Articles:
"§ 1. The State of Israel, recalling its Declaration of Independence, affirms its continuing commitment to uphold and observe the human right to freedom of religion and conscience, as set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in other international instruments to which it is a party.
"§ 2. The Holy See, recalling the Declaration on Religious Freedom of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, dignitatis humanae, affirms the Catholic Church's commitment to uphold the human right to freedom of religion and conscience, as set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in other international instruments to which it is a party. The Holy See wishes to affirm as well the Catholic Church's respect for other religions and their followers as solemnly stated by the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council in its Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions, nostra aetate.
"§ 1. The Holy See and the State of Israel are committed to appropriate cooperation in combatting all forms of anti-semitism and all kinds of racism and of religious intolerance, and in promoting mutual understanding among nations, tolerance among communities and respect for human life and dignity.
"§ 2. The Holy See takes this occasion to reiterate its condemnation of hatred, persecution and all other manifestations of anti-Semitism directed against the Jewish people and individual Jews anywhere, at any time and by anyone. In particular, the Holy See deplores attacks on Jews and desecration of Jewish synagogues and cemeteries, acts which offend the memory of the victims of the Holocaust, especially when they occur in the same places which witnessed it.
"§ 1. The Holy See and the State of Israel recognize that both are free in the exercise of their respective rights and powers, and commit themselves to respect this principle in their mutual relations and in their cooperation for the good of the people.
"§ 2. The State of Israel recognizes the right of the Catholic Church to carry out its religious, moral, educational and charitable functions, and to have its own institutions and to train, appoint and deploy its own personnel in the said institutions or for the said functions to these ends. The Church recognizes the right of the State to carry out its functions, such as promoting and protecting the welfare and safety of the people. Both the State and the Church recognize the need for dialogue and cooperation in such matters as by their nature call for it.
"§ 3. Concerning Catholic legal personality at canon law, the Holy See and the State of Israel will negotiate on giving it full effect in Israeli law, following a report from a joint subcommission of experts.
"§ 1. The State of Israel affirms its continuing commitment to maintain and respect the status quo in the Christian Holy Places to which it applies and the respective rights of the Christian communities thereunder. The Holy See affirms the Catholic Church's continuing commitment to respect the afore- mentioned status quo and the said rights.
"§ 2. The above shall apply notwithstanding an interpretation to the contrary of any Article in this Fundamental Agreement.
"§ 3. The State of Israel agrees with the Holy See on the obligation of continuing respect for and protection of the character proper to Catholic sacred places, such as churches, monasteries, convents, cemeteries and their like.
"§ 4. The State of Israel agrees with the Holy See on the continuing guarantee of the freedom of Catholic worship.
"§ 1. The Holy See and the State of Israel recognize that both have an interest in favouring Christian pilgrimages to the Holy Land. Whenever the need for coordination arises, the proper agencies of the Church and of the State will consult and cooperate as required.
"§ 2. The State of Israel and the Holy See express the hope that such pilgrimages will provide an occasion for better understanding between the pilgrims and the people and religions in Israel.
"The Holy See and the State of Israel jointly reaffirm the right of the Catholic Church to establish, maintain and direct schools and institutes of study at all levels; this right being exercised in harmony with the rights of the State in the field of education.
"The Holy See and the State of Israel recognize a common interest in promoting and encouraging cultural exchanges between Catholic institutions worldwide, and educational, cultural and research institutions in Israel, and in facilitating access to manuscripts, historical documents and similar source materials, in conformity with applicable laws and regulations.
"The State of Israel recognizes that the right of the Catholic Church to freedom of expression in the carrying out of its functions is exercised also through the Church's own communications media; this right being exercised in harmony with the rights of the State in the field of communications media.
"The Holy See and the State of Israel jointly reaffirm the right of the Catholic Church to carry out its charitable functions through its health care and social welfare institutions; this right being exercised in harmony with the rights of the State in this field.
"§ 1. The Holy See and the State of Israel jointly reaffirm the right of the Catholic Church to property.
"§ 2. Without prejudice to rights relied upon the Parties:
"(a) The Holy See and the State of Israel will negotiate in good faith a comprehensive agreement, containing solutions acceptable to both Parties, on unclear, unsettled and disputed issues, concerning property, economic and fiscal matters relating to the Catholic Church generally, or to specific Catholic Communities or institutions.
"(b) For the purpose of the said negotiations, the Permanent Bilateral Working Commission will appoint one or more bilateral subcommissions of experts to study the issues and make proposals.
"(c) The Parties intend to commence the afore-mentioned negotiations within three months of entry into force of the present Agreement, and aim to reach agreement within two years from the beginning of the negotiations.
"(d) During the period of these negotiations, actions incompatible with these commitments shall be avoided.
"§ 1. The Holy See and the State of Israel declare their respective commitment to the promotion of the peaceful resolution of conflicts among States and nations, excluding violence and terror from international life.
"§ 2. The Holy See, while maintaining in every case the right to exercise its moral and spiritual teaching-office, deems it opportune to recall that, owing to its own character, it is solemnly committed to remaining a stranger to all merely temporal conflicts, which principle applies specifically to disputed territories and unsettled borders.
"The Holy See and the State of Israel will continue to negotiate in good faith in pursuance of the Agenda agreed upon in Jerusalem, on 15 July 1992, and confirmed at the Vatican on 29 July 1992; likewise on issues arising from Articles of the present Agreement, as well as on other issues bilaterally agreed upon as objects of negotiation.
"§ 1. In this Agreement the Parties use these terms in the following sense:
The Catholic Church
- including, inter alia, its Communities and institutions;
of the Catholic Church - meaning the Catholic religious entities considered by the Holy See as Churches sui juris and by the State of Israel as Recognized Religious Communities.
"§ 2. Notwithstanding the validity of this Agreement as between the Parties, and without detracting from the generality of any applicable rule of law with reference to treaties, the parties agree that this Agreement does not prejudice rights and obligations arising from existing treaties between either Party and a State or States, which are known and in fact available to both Parties at the time of the signature of this Agreement.
"§ 1. Upon signature of the present Fundamental Agreement and in preparation for the establishment of full diplomatic relations, the Holy See and the State of Israel exchange Special Representatives, whose rank and privileges are specified in an Additional Protocol.
"§ 2. Following the entry into force and immediately upon the beginning of the implementation of the present Fundamental Agreement, the Holy See and the State of Israel will establish full diplomatic relations at the level of Apostolic Nunciature, on the part of the Holy See, and Embassy, on the part of the State of Israel.
"This Agreement shall enter into force on the date of the latter notification of ratification by a Party.
"Done in two original copies in the English and Hebrew languages, both texts being equally authentic. In case of divergency, the English text shall prevail.
"Signed in Jerusalem, this thirtieth day of the month of December, in the year 1993, which corresponds to the sixteenth day of the month of Tevet, in the year 5754.
"FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF FOR THE HOLY SEE
THE STATE OF ISRAEL
Jerusalem, 30 December 1993
"1. In relation to Article 14 § 1 of the Fundamental Agreement, signed by the Holy See and the State of Israel, the `Special Representatives' shall have, respectively, the personal rank of Apostolic Nuncio and Ambassador.
"2. These Special Representatives shall enjoy all the rights, privileges and immunities granted to Heads of Diplomatic Missions under international law and common usage, on the basis of reciprocity.
"3. The Special Representative of the State of Israel to the Holy See, while residing in Italy, shall enjoy all the rights, privileges and immunities defined by Article 12 of the Treaty of 1929 between the Holy See and Italy, regarding Envoys of Foreign Governments to the Holy See residing in Italy. The rights, privileges and immunities extended to the personnel of a Diplomatic Mission shall likewise be granted to the personnel of the Israeli Special Representative's Mission. According to an established custom, neither the Special Representative, nor the official members of his Mission, can at the same time be members of Israel's Diplomatic Mission to Italy.
"4. The Special Representative of the Holy See to the State of Israel may at the same time exercise other representative functions of the Holy See and be accredited to other States. He and the personnel of his Mission shall enjoy all the rights, privileges and immunities granted by Israel to Diplomatic Agents and Missions.
"5. The names, rank and functions of the Special Representatives will appear, in an appropriate way, in the official lists of Foreign Missions accredited to each Party.
"Signed in Jerusalem, this thirtieth day of the month of December, in the year 1993, which corresponds to the sixteenth day of the month of Tevet, in the year 5754."
Statement by the Head of the Holy See delegation Monsignor Claudio Maria Celli
after the signing of the Fundamental Agreement,
Jerusalem, 30 December 1993
"Mr. Minister, Ladies and Gentlemen,
"On June 29th, 1992, at the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican, a Permanent Bilateral Commission was established for the purpose of pursuing an agenda officially agreed upon that same day, and in order to study together and to resolve questions of mutual interest, with a view to a normalization of relations between the Parties. This decision was made possible thanks to the desire expressed by the two Parties, the previous Government of the State of Israel and the Secretariat of State of His Holiness Pope John Paul II. It was followed by an intense round of consultations between the Foreign Ministry of Israel and the Apostolic Delegation, and between the Secretariat of State and the Israeli Embassy in Rome.
"Following the establishment of the Commission, the experts of the two Parties, led first by Mr. Gilboa and later by Mr. Margalit, and by Archbishop Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo, have done a great amount of work, for which we are most grateful.
"The full Commission met on November 19th, 1992 here in Jerusalem and once again yesterday morning in the Vatican, in order to approve the texts which were drawn up and submitted by the experts. Those texts comprise the "Fundamental Agreement" signed at today's ceremony.
"The Agreement is `fundamental" in the sense that it is meant to serve as the basis for other negotiations. As stated in its Preamble, the Agreement is meant to be `a sound and lasting basis for the furtherance of the Commission's task'.
"I would like to emphasize that the Agreement already represents a real and solid outcome of the Commission's work. It can also be considered `fundamental', in the sense of highly important, for several reasons.
"Among other things, it expresses a basic principle meant to guide the two Parties, the State of Israel and the Holy See, in carrying out their work jointly in the future. This principle, in fact, has already exercised a marked influence on the first phase of negotiations. It is expressly mentioned in one of the articles of the Agreement: `Both the State and the Church recognize the need for dialogue and cooperation in such matters as by their nature call for it' (article 3, paragraph 2).
"Also, as Mr. Shimon Peres, Foreign Minister of the State of Israel, pointed out a few days ago, the signing of the Agreement, while certainly marking an important historical event, must also be acknowledged to have a fundamental religious and spiritual significance, not only for the Holy See and the State of Israel, but for millions of people throughout the world.
"The Holy See and the State of Israel are now beginning a new period in their bilateral relations. From the Declaration of Independence of the State of Israel until the present, those relations have been marked by mutual respect, but they will henceforth be official and later on diplomatic in nature, in accordance with the formalities provided for by international law and tradition.
"While clearly distinguishing the political and the religious aspects of this event, the Holy See is convinced that dialogue and respectful cooperation between Catholics and Jews will now be given new impetus and energy, both in Israel and throughout the world. The Preamble of the Accord explicitly mentions this religious dimension. It is also referred to in the Articles, in which the Holy See once more reiterates `its condemnation of hatred, persecution and all other manifestations of anti-Semitism directed against the Jewish people and individual Jews anywhere, at any time and by anyone' (article 2, 2).
"I am likewise certain that this new situation will provide greater confidence and security to the Catholic Church in Israel and to her leaders. This is a matter of great importance for the Holy See, which considers the establishment of official relations with States not as an end in itself, but as a means, and which is principally concerned for the communities of the Catholic faithful. In fact, a significant portion of the agreement is devoted to the Catholic Church and her institutions located in the State of Israel.
"Everyone, I think, is convinced that this historic moment should not be viewed in isolation, but as part of a much larger and more important historical situation. This Agreement has been signed at a time when a peace process has begun, one in which the leaders of the State of Israel are deeply committed, together with their various counterparts, to the quest for peace, justice and cooperation in the whole region.
"We know that there are still many problems to be solved, and that, for many of them, we are only at the beginning. But our hope is strengthened by the certainty that the leaders of all the parties desire justice and peace. If they persevere in this desire, difficulties can be overcome and future generations in the whole region will be able to live in an atmosphere of peace and cooperation very different from that of the past fifty years.
"From the beginning, the Holy See has felt involved in the quest for this deeply desired peace, as it does in every part of the world where there is an absence of peace. As an article of the Agreement significantly states: `The Holy See and the State of Israel declare their respective commitment to the promotion of the peaceful resolution of conflicts among States and nations..'. (article 11, 1). On the part of the Holy See, this commitment is deeply rooted in one of its essential characteristics, which is also recalled in an article of the Agreement, namely the exercise of "its moral and spiritual teaching-office" (article 11, 2). Precisely in the name of this un-renounceable office, the Holy See, while remaining extraneous to territorial questions on a technical level, at the same time considers itself bound to address such questions, as it has done in the past and continues to do, insofar as they involve issues of a moral nature, as for example, those of justice and peace.
"The Holy See hopes that this new stage in relations and in cooperation will enable it to offer a specific contribution towards the development of an ever more trusting and constructive dialogue between the State of Israel and its neighbours and, consequently, towards the entire peace process.
"Obviously I cannot fail to emphasize that our meeting today has taken place in Jerusalem and to repeat, as an expression of good wishes and hope, the words written in 1984 by His Holiness Pope John Paul II: `Jerusalem, the sacred patrimony of all believers, and the desired meeting-place of peace for the peoples of the Middle East'. And now I would like to call to mind with deep veneration and gratitude, Pope John Paul II, who has desired this Agreement and who has charged me to sign it in his name. He has great affection and concern for this Land, which was made holy by Divine Revelation and which remains holy for the peoples who dwell in it, as it does for millions of Jewish, Christian and Muslim believers throughout the world.
"Once again I would like to express my deep gratitude to the two delegations of experts. Their commitment and hard work have enabled us to make good progress so far, and this is certainly a sign of hope for what we still have to do together.
"May Almighty God bless the fruits of our work and may His blessing accompany us as we continue it. Amen."
Statement by the Holy See Press Office Director Mr. Joaquin Navarro-Valls,
Vatican City, 30 December 1993
"1. In Jerusalem, in the Office of the Foreign Minister, Msgr. Claudio Maria Celli, Under- Secretary for Relations with States, and Dr. Yossi Beilin, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Israel, respectively plenipotentiaries for the Holy See and the State of Israel, signed an Agreement on several fundamental principles which regulate relations between the Holy See and the State of Israel.
"2. The Agreement is the result of the first phase of the work of the Permanent Bilateral Commission, set up on July 29, 1992.
"It contains principles and norms which concern:
"(a) The guarantees on the part of the State of Israel for the freedom of religion and conscience, a fundamental human right and the basis of the entire fabric of relations between the Church and the State and, therefore, between the Holy See and States;
"(b) The juridical condition of the Catholic Church in Israel, bearing in mind the rights acquired over the centuries, through internal legislation, usages and international treaties;
"(c) The collaboration between the Holy See and the State of Israel on general questions which interest both sides, such as, for example, the fight against racism, including anti-Semitism, the refusal of violence and the search for peaceful solutions of conflicts, the elimination of religious intolerance and the promotion of mutual understanding between peoples and States;
"(d) The process of gradually making official the relations between the Holy See and the State of Israel in the perspective of reaching and establishing diplomatic relations. It is foreseen that this process, which began with the very creation of the Permanent Bilateral Work Commission, continue now in the following manner:
"- with the signing of the Agreement, the Parties will exchange Special Representatives with the personal level of Apostolic Nuncio and of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary;
"- following the ratification of the Agreement by both Parties, that is, when it enters into force, and after a suitable period of time, diplomatic relations will be established, in conformity with article 2 of the Vienna Convention and with the usual praxis.
"3. The now-signed Agreement constitutes the basis for the others which must be negotiated in a near future between the same Parties and which must establish their particular application.
"4. It is a question of an Agreement or international treaty between the Holy See, as an international sovereign subject, and the State of Israel, which was constituted in May 1948 and followed the noted resolution 181 (II), adopted by the UN General Assembly on 29 November 1947. Admitted to the UN as a member since May 1949, the State of Israel has been recognized by the great majority of countries of the international community, obtaining ever greater consensus with the passing of time, up to concluding or, as the case may be, actively negotiating peace agreements with those who have always been its adversary. The independence of the State of Israel has always been the object of deep respect on the part of the Holy See, even if up to today there have not been diplomatic relations.
"This agreement will enter into force, as an international treaty committing both Parties, after having undergone the normal process of ratification, in conformity with the international praxis and as foreseen by the Agreement itself.
"5. The Holy See maintains that today's signing of the Agreement is a very important stage in its centuries-old commitment to care for the rights and freedoms of the Church in the Holy land, where the State of Israel is, and hopes that the climate of trustworthy dialogue which has characterized the works of the Commission and the new situation in the relations with the State of Israel will contribute to offering more serenity and security to the pastors and faithful of that local Church and, at the same time, to support the will for a better dialogue, a deeper friendship and a greater collaboration between Catholics and Hebrews of Israel and the entire world.
"6. At the same time, the Holy See hopes that this significant step contributes to favouring progress within the peace process which is under way in the Middle East region. It is convinced that, even with difficulties and obstacles, such a process is irreversible.
"The Holy See, at the time of the Madrid Conference (November 1991), was able to repeat its well-known interest in the situation in the region and in the development of peace negotiations, already shown on many previous occasions. Before then, in fact, it had many times expressed the hope that the Parties would sit around a negotiating table. Equally as many times it spoke up on the problems of those lands and peoples, clearly denouncing situations of injustice and insecurity, and deploring at the same time, the resorting to violence, always useless, as a means to solve them. One could recall here the numerous and noted interventions of the Holy Father himself regarding the decades-old conflict existing between the Palestinian people and the State of Israel. With the same insistence and with equal concern, the Pope has called the attention of the world and, in particular, of all political leaders, to the situation in Lebanon where the entire population of a country has been involved in conflicts which often were the result of problems extraneous to the real difficulties of a dignified national co-existence in a free and sovereign country.
"This concern and this lively interest have their basis in the specific spiritual and moral mission of the Holy See, it being clear that, among other things, it is stated in the Agreement that it, because of its very nature, maintains that it should remain extraneous to any merely temporal conflict, with explicit reference to disputed territories or non-defined borders. Beyond these more properly called technical aspects, however, the Holy See cannot, in any case, give up its specific mission of teaching and its right to express a judgment on the moral dimension that each of these problems necessarily has.
"In fact, with regard to the territorial questions which interest the State of Israel and its neighbours, the Holy See has often defended the rights of those without a voice or without a way of establishing a dialogue. Now, it has noted that the directly interested parties are committed to resolving, through the negotiations underway, the questions which pit them against each, and it is hoped that the same negotiations proceed in an orderly fashion and reach conclusions acceptable for everyone, for the good of everyone and with respect for the rights that everyone has to live with dignity, peace and security within one's own homeland.
"In this context and in coherence with its mission of promoting peace, the Holy See feels that it must play its own role, above all to favour everywhere the promotion of the respect of human rights, and first among them, the right to freedom of religion and conscience, the basis of the dignity of every citizen and every community in any country.
"7. In its considerations, decisions and behaviour, the Holy See does not fail to bear in mind the complex religious reality of the State of Israel and of the entire region, with particular attention to the sensibilities of the Christian communities which are not in full communion with the Catholic Church. Respectful of those communities, the Holy See did not wish to give even the minimum impression of negotiating in their name.
"With reference to the delicate problem of the juridical regime of the status quo concerning determined Christian Holy Places, the Holy See took care, also in the Agreement in question, to find the way to reassure the interested Christian communities of its firm will to respect and confirm the rights which are theirs.
"Further, the Holy See trusts that the Agreement will be positively received by the other Christian communities, above all by reason of the commitments found in it on the subject of freedom of religion and conscience.
"Already the day following the establishment of the [Permanent] Bilateral [Working] Commission, representatives of the Holy See itself suitably informed the leaders of the non-Catholic Christian communities of the Holy Land who appreciated the gesture and the ecumenical sensitivity, welcoming with understanding what was explained to them.
"8. Questions relative to the city of Jerusalem and other Holy Places, which for so long have been the object of the Holy See's concern, are not directly or explicitly mentioned in the Agreement because of their international and multilateral references, which does not permit solving them with an Agreement which is, by definition, bilateral between the two signing Parties.
"That does not mean that the position of the Holy See with regards to such questions has changed or that their importance has been, in any way, forgotten. The Holy See has noted that, in what concerns the territorial questions and the sovereignty linked to this, something has changed in the position of the Parties most directly interested.
"After the Madrid Conference, after the negotiations in Washington (1992-1993) and after the historical agreement between Israel and the PLO (13 September 1993), the parties, whose claims are well known, now are sitting opposite one another for direct negotiations. The Holy See, coherent with the principles already recalled concerning its participation in the problems of international co-existence, does not intend to take the place of any of the Parties in treating the problems of territorial sovereignty.
"The Holy See, on the other hand, feels the duty and the right to continue to claim, as it has always done, several guarantees in the international sphere. It asks that whoever exercises sovereignty, alone or with others, must adhere to an internationally guaranteed special statute for that which concerns the safekeeping of the highest religious and cultural values found in that area.
"In this regard, one could recall the analysis made by Pope Paul VI which could be considered as the basis of all successive pronouncements of the Holy See
*: `The question, seen in its general terms, now offers, in our view, two aspects which are essential and cannot be omitted. The first regards the Holy Places properly called and considered as such by the three monotheistic religions having an interest, Hebrew, Christian and Muslim, and intends to safeguard the freedom of worship, the respect for, the preservation of an access to the same Holy Places, protected by special immunity through their own statute, whose observance is guaranteed by an institution of international character with particular regard for the historical and religious physiognomy of Jerusalem. The second aspect of the question refers to the free enjoyment of religious and civil rights which persons have a right to expect in the seats, in the activities of all communities present in the territory' of the Holy Land.
"The Holy See maintains that its position is mirrored in the consensus of the international community, shown in a privileged way in resolution 181 (II), adopted by the United Nations [General Assembly] on 29 November 1947, even if today those ends could be equally reached with means and instruments different from those foreseen at the time.
"The Holy See, in solidarity with the leaders of all three monotheistic religions and with so many other men of good will, hopes always for the day in which the Holy City of Jerusalem can truly become the crossroads city of peace, a privileged place for the meeting of peoples, cultures and civilizations.
"In this context, the Holy See expresses its trust in the international community - and in the Parties more directly interested in the global future of the territory of Jerusalem, the State of Israel and the Palestinians - so that all commit themselves to consider this their position, which is also the expression of universal interest towards the particular religious and cultural values so intimately linked with the Holy City of Jerusalem and its neighbouring areas.
"9. While the Agreement opens a totally new era in relations between the Holy See and the Catholic Church on the one hand and the State of Israel on the other, what remains is to hope for an analogous perfectionment of relations with other Parties by right present in the region. The Holy See has always been well disposed with regards to other States or other national communities who desire to make progress, with a stable and satisfactory juridical base, in their relations with the Catholic Church."
*Reference is made here to a speech by Pope Paul VI to Cardinals and Prelates of the Roman Curia, on 22 December 1967.
* * *
1. Foreign Broadcast Information Service,
Daily Report: Near East & South Asia
, No. FBIS-NES-93-107, 7 June 1993, pp. 5-6.
., No. FBIS-NES-93-112, 14 June 1993, pp. 3-5.
3. Middle East Policy, Volume II, 1993, Number 2, pp. 158-160.
4. Foreign Broadcast Information Service,
Daily Report: Near East and South Asia
, No. FBIS-NES-93-151, 9 August 1993, pp. 6-7.
5. Foreign Broadcast Information Service,
Daily Report: Near East and South Asia
, No. FBIS-NES-93-151, No. FBIS-NES-93-167, 31 August 1993, pp. 30-32.
., pp. 27-30.
7. United Nations, Department of Public Information, Press release no. SG/SM/5073, 1 September 1993.
., Press release no. SG/SM/5077-PAL/1801, 9 September 1993.
9. Foreign Broadcast Information Service,
Daily Report: Near East & South Asia
, No. FBIS-NES-93-174, 10 September 1993, p. 25.
The New York Times
, 10 September 1993.
United States Department of State Dispatch
, September 13, 1993, Vol. 4, No. 37, p. 621.
12. Foreign Broadcast Information Service,
Daily Report: Near East & South Asia
, No. FBIS-NES-93-174, 10 September 1993, p. 27.
., No. FBIS-NES-93-175, 13 September 1993, pp. 15-16.
14. See letter dated 8 October 1993 from the Permanent Representatives of the Russian Federation and the United States of America to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General (A/48/486-S/26560), pp. 4-18; also in
United States Department of State Dispatch
, September 1993, Vol. 4, No. 4, pp. 2-6.
United States Department of State Dispatch
, September 1993, Vol. 4, No. 4, pp. 7-11.
., pp. 15-16.
., p. 17.
., pp. 18-19.
., October 4, 1993, Vol. 4, No. 40, pp. 678-681.
20. Foreign Broadcast Information Service,
Daily Report: Near East & South Asia
, No. FBIS-NES-93-182, 22 September 1993, pp. 20-22.
United States Department of State Dispatch
, October 11, 1993, Vol. 4, No. 41, pp. 695-699.
., pp. 691-692.
23. As per text provided on 5 October 1993 by the United Nations Information Centre in Washington, D.C.
24. As per text provided on 11 March 1994 by the Embassy of the Russian Federation to the United States.
25. As per text provided on 8 October 1993 by the United States Department of the Treasury, Washington, D.C.
26. As per text provided on 1 October 1993 by
Jerusalem Press Service
, Washington, D.C.
27. As per text provided on 11 March 1994 by the Embassy of the Russian Federation to the United States.
28. As per text provided on 4 February 1994 by the Office of the Delegation of the Commission of the European Communities to the United Nations, New York.
29. As per text provided on 1 October 1993 by
Jerusalem Press Service
, Washington, D.C.
United States Department of State Dispatch
, October 11, 1993, Vol. 4, No. 41, pp. 693-694.
., pp. 695-696.
., pp. 694-695.
., pp. 689-690.
34. Foreign Broadcast Information Service,
Daily Report: Near East & South Asia
, No. FBIS-NES-93-195, 12 October 1993, pp. 51-55.
United States Department of State Dispatch
, October 25, 1993, Vol. 4, No. 43, pp. 744-747.
36. Foreign Broadcast Information Service,
Daily Report: Near East & South Asia
, No. FBIS-NES-93-207, 28 October 1993, p. 30.
., No. FBIS-NES-93-213, 5 November 1993, pp. 3-4.
., No. FBIS-NES-93-225, 24 November 1993, pp. 41-42.
United States Department of State Dispatch
, December 20, 1993, Vol. 4, No. 51, pp. 874-878.
., December 13, Vol. 4, No. 50, pp. 863-864.
., pp. 864-865.
., p. 866.
43. As per texts provided on 4 February 1994 by the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations.
Conference to Support Middle East Peace
1 October 1993, Washington, DC
List of Delegates**
Name and title
Algeria H.E. Mr. Nourredine Zerhouni, Ambassador to the United States of America
Mr. Mouloud Belkadi, Embassy of Algeria
Australia Mr. Rodney Irwin, Deputy Director General,
International Development Assistance Bureau
Mr. David Spencer, Embassy of Australia
Mr. Michael Smith, Embassy of Australia
Mrs. Denise Fisher, Embassy of Australia
Austria H.E. Mr. Helmut Tuerk, Ambassador to the
United States of America
Mr. Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal, Embassy of Austria
Bahrain H.E. Sheikh Mohammed bin Mubarak Al-Khalifa,
Minister for Foreign Affairs
H.E. Sheikh Abdul Rahman bin Fares Al-Khalifa,
Ambassador to the United States of America
Mr. Yousif Mahmood, Secretary to the Foreign Minister
Mr. Isa Kamal, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Mr. Tawfeeq Al-Mansoor, Embassy of Bahrain
Mr. Farooq Ahmed Abdulla, Embassy of Bahrain
Belgium H.E. Mr. Willy Claes, Deputy Prime Minister and
(European Commission Minister for Foreign Affairs
Presidency) Mr. Andre Adam, Director General of Political Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
H.E. Mr. Juan Cassiers, Ambassador to the
United States of America
Mr. Pierre Champenois, Head of Political Cooperation Secretariat
Mr. Renier Nijskens, Director, Middle East Affairs,
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Ms. Benedicte Frankinet, Counsellor
Brunei Darussalam Mr. Dato P.H.M. Ali Daud, Deputy Minister
for Foreign Affairs
Mr. Dato P.A. Wally Skinner, Deputy Minister of Finance
Mr. Awang Mulok Jumat, Assistant Director, Political Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Mr. Awang Junaidi Masri, Under-Finance Minister and Investment Officer, Brunei Investment Agency
Mr. Bakar Donglah, Embassy of Brunei Darussalam
Miss Janeh Sukaimi, Embassy of Brunei Darussalam
Canada H.E. Mr. John de Chastelain, Ambassador to the
United States of America
Ms. Carolyn Mcaskie, Vice-President for Africa and the Middle East, Canadian International Development
Mr. Michael Mace, Senior Advisor on the
Middle East Peace Process, External Affairs
Mr. Jean Couturier, Africa and Middle East Division, CIDA
Ms. Barbara Gibson, Embassy of Canada
Mr. George Rioux, First Secretary
China H.E. Mr. Li Daoyu, Ambassador to the
United States of America
Mr. Liu Zhihai, Counsellor, West Asia and North Africa Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Mr. Chen Jinghua, Counsellor
Commission of the Mr. Hans van den Broek, Commissioner
European Communities Mr. Juan Prat Coll, Director-General Ad Personam for North-South Relations, Mediterranean Policy, and Relations with Latin America and Asia
Mr. Ed Kronenburg, Deputy Chef du Cabinet
Mr. Bernhard Zepter, Advisor to EC President Delors
Mr. Geoffrey Haley, DG-1, External Economic Affairs
Mr. Dubois Ivo
Denmark H.E. Mr. Helle Degn, Minister for Developmental Cooperation
H.E. Mr. Peter P. Dyvig, Ambassador to the
United States of America
Mr. Jorgen Munk Rasmussen, Director for Middle East and North Africa
Mr. Niels Dyrlund, Embassy of Denmark
Mr. Ove Ullerup-Petersen
Mrs. Charlotte Laursen
Egypt H.E. Amre Moussa, Minister for Foreign Affairs
H.E. Ahmed Maher, Ambassador to the United States of America
Dr. Ahmed El Dersh, First Under-Secretary of State, International Cooperation
Mr. Raouf Saad, Deputy Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs for International Economic Affairs
Mr. Nabil Fahmy, Political Adviser to the Foreign Minister
Dr. Alaa El Hadidi, Embassy of Egypt
Finland H.E. Heikki Haavisto, Minister for Foreign Affairs
H.E. Jukka Valtasaari, Ambassador to the
United States of America
Mr. Jaako Laajeva, Director for Political Affairs,
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Mr. Hannu Mantyvaara, Embassy of Finland
Ms. Armi Heinonen, Embassy of Finland
France H.E. Mr. Jacques Andreani, Ambassador to the
United States of America
Mr. Lodovic de Montille, Ministry of Finance
Mr. Bernard Bajolot, Deputy Assistant Secretary,
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Mr. Pierre Levy, Deputy Assistant Secretary,
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Mr. Jerome Haas, Deputy to the French Executive Director, World Bank
Mr. March Borel, Ministry of Finance
Germany Ambassador Theodor Wallau, Political Director,
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Mr. Eberhard Kurth, Assistant Secretary,
Ministry of Economic Cooperation
Mr. Andreas von Hoessle, Middle East Office Director, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Ms. Andrea Muck, Ministry of Economic Cooperation
Mr. Josef Beck, Embassy of Germany
Greece Mr. Synnefis Drakopoulos, Embassy of Greece
Mr. Dionysis Zois, Embassy of Greece
Mr. Vassilis Papatzanis, Director, International Organizations, Ministry of National Economy
Iceland H.E. John Baldvin Hannibalson, Minister for Foreign Affairs
H.E. Friedrik Sofusson, Minister of Finance
Mr. Magnus Petursson, Under-Secretary, Ministry of Finance
Mr. Jon Egilsson, Embassy of Iceland
India H.E. Siddhartha S. Ray, Ambassador to the
United States of America
Mr. Kanwal Sibal, Embassy of India
Mrs. Chitra Mohan, Embassy of India
Mr. Pankaj Saran, Embassy of India
Indonesia Mr. Sastrohandojo Wirjono, Deputy Minister for Political Affairs, Foreign Affairs Department
Mr. Arifin Siregar, Ambassador-designate to the
United States of America
Mrs. Titiek S. Rustaman, Embassy of Indonesia
Mr. Sugeng Rahardjo, Embassy of Indonesia
Mr. Eddy Setiabudhi, Embassy of Indonesia
Mr. Arif Harahap, Embassy of Indonesia
International Bank Mr. Lewis Preston, President
for Reconstruction Mr. Atilla Karaosmanoglu, Managing Director
and Development Mr. Caio Koch-Weser, Vice-President for Middle East and North Africa Mr. Ram Chopra, Director for Middle East and North Africa
Department Mr. Spiros T. Voyadzis, Middle East and North Africa Mr. Prem Garg, Middle East and North Africa Department
Ireland H.E. Mr. Dermot A. Gallagher, Ambassador to the
United States of America
Mr. Hugh Swift, Head of Irish Bilateral Aid
Mr. Nick O'Murchu, Delegate to the World Bank
Mr. Sean Whelan, Head of United Nations and
Middle East Section
Mr. Noel Kilkenny, Embassy of Ireland
Mr. Eamonn McKee, Embassy of Ireland
Israel H.E. Mr. Shimon Peres, Minister for Foreign Affairs
H.E. Mr. Avraham Shohat, Minister of Finance
H.E. Mr. Itamar Rabinovich, Ambassador to the
United States of America
Mr. Uriel Savir, Director General,
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Mr. Aharon Fogel, Director General, Ministry of Finance
Mr. Ehud Kaufman, Aide to the Minister of Finance
Italy Mr. Carmelo Azzara, Vice Minister,
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Mr. Augusto Zodda, Senior Cabinet Director,
Ministry of Treasury
Mr. Francesco Aloisi, Director General for Development
and Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Mr. Gabriele Sardo, Minister, General Directorate for Political Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Mr. Piergiorgio Cherubini, Embassy of Italy
Mr. Aldo Mantovani, Embassy of Italy
Japan Mr. Hiroshi Fukuda, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs
Mr. Kosuke Nakahira, Vice Minister of Finance for International Affairs
Mr. Shohei Naito, Deputy Director General for Economic Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Mr. Isao Kubota, Deputy Director General for
International Finance, Ministry of Finance
Mr. Toshinori Shigeie, Deputy Director General for Middle
East and Africa Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Mr. Mitsuhiro Furusawa, Deputy Director for Policy, International Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Finance
Jordan H.E. Mr. Sami Gammoh, Minister of Finance
H.E. Mr. Talal Al-Hassan, Minister of State for
H.E. Mr. Fayez Tarawneh, Ambassador to the
United States of America
Dr. Safwan Touqan, Under-Secretary, Ministry of Planning
Dr. Michel Marto, Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Jordan
Kuwait H.E. Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs
Sheikh Salem Abdulaziz Al-Sabah, Governor,
Central Bank of Kuwait
H.E. Dr. Mohammed S. Al-Sabah, Ambassador to the
United States of America
Mr. Ahmad Al-Fahad, Director of the Minister's Office
Mr. Faisal Al-Khaled, Executive Director for the World Bank representing Middle East Countries
Mr. Bader Meshari Al-Humaizi, General Director,
Kuwait Fund for Development
Luxembourg H.E. Mr. Alphonse Berns, Ambassador to the
United States of America
Mr. George Heinen, World Bank
Mr. Jean-Paul Munchen, Embassy of Luxembourg
Ms. Colette Kinnen, Embassy of Luxembourg
Malaysia H.E. Mr. Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Minister for Foreign Affairs
Mr. Redzuan M. Kushairi, Deputy Permanent Representative
to the United Nations
Mr. Santhananaban, Embassy of Malaysia
Morocco H.E. Mr. Abdellatif Filali, Minister of State for
H.E. Mr. Mohamed Berada, Minister of Finance
H.E. Mr. Mohamed Benaissa, Ambassador to the
United States of America
Mr. Mohamed Dayri, Staff Director, Ministry of Finance
Mr. Mohamed Loulichki
Mr. Moulay Abbes Kadiri
Netherlands Baron Willem Bentinck, Chargé d'affaires,
Embassy of the Netherlands
Mr. Ian de Jong, Director, Department of Multilateral Development Cooperations and Special Programmes
Mr. Gerrit Hejkoop, Embassy of the Netherlands
Norway H.E. Mr. Johan Jorgen Holst, Minister for Foreign Affairs
H.E. Mr. Sigbjorn Johnsen, Minister of Finance
Mr. Jakken Biorn Lian, Political Director
Mr. Hans Fredrik Lehne, Head of Division
Mr. Svein Harald Oygard, State Secretary
Mr. Ole Kristian Holthe, Deputy Director
Oman H.E. Mr. Ahmed Abdulnabi Macki, Minister of Civil Service and Vice-President of the Oman Central Bank
H.E. Munir Makki, Omani Ambassador to France
Mr. Salim Al-Mashani, Embassy of Oman
Mr. Riyadh Macki, Embassy of Oman
PLO Mr. Yassir Abed Rabbo, Member, Executive Committee
Mr. Nabil Shaath, Advisor to the Executive Committee
Mr. Yusef Sayigh, Consultant
Mr. Anis Barghouti
Mr. Samir Abdallah
Mr. Hasan Abdel Rahman
Portugal H.E. Mr. Francisco Knopfli, Ambassador to the
United States of America
Mr. Alexandre Fernandes, Embassy of Portugal
Qatar H.E. Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem Bin Jaber Al-Thani,
Minister for Foreign Affairs
Mr. Yusuf Kamal, Under-Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Economics and Commerce
Sheikh Mashall bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Advisor, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
H.E. Sheikh Abdulrahman bin Saud Al-Thani, Ambassador to the United States of America
Sheikh Jassem bin Nasser Al-Thani, Office of the Under-Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Dr. Hassan Ali Hussain Al-Ni'Mah, Permanent Representative to the United Nations
Republic of Korea H.E. Mr. Han Sung-Joo, Minister for Foreign Affairs
H.E. Mr. Han, Seung-Soo, Ambassador to the
United States of America
Mr. Yu, Myung-Hwan, Spokesman, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Mr. Chang, Ki-Ho, Embassy of Korea
Mr. Huh, Noh-Choong, Embassy of Korea
Mr. Park, Byung-Yun, Embassy of Korea
Russian Federation H.E. Mr. Andrei Kozyrev, Minister for Foreign Affairs
H.E. Mr. Boris Fyodorov, Deputy Prime Minister for
Economics and Finance
H.E. Mr. Vladimir Lukin, Ambassador to the
United States of America
Mr. Sergei Krylov, Director, Executive Secretariat,
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Mr. Viktor Gogitidze, Chief, Middle East Peace Process Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Mr. Alexei Semeyko, Embassy of the Russian Federation
Saudi Arabia HRH Prince Saud Al-Faysal bin Abdulaziz,
Minister for Foreign Affairs
H.E. Mr. Muhammad Ali Aba al-Khayl, Minister of Finance
Mr. Mamon Kurdi, Deputy Foreign Minister
Mr. Jobara Al-Soursri, Deputy Finance Minister
Mr. Ibrahim al-Assaf, Executive Director,
International Monetary Fund, Saudi Arabia
Mr. Rihab Massoud, Embassy of Saudi Arabia
Spain Mr. Jose Luis Dicenta, Secretary of State for
Mr. Miguel Angel Moratinos, Assistant Secretary for African and Middle East Affairs
Mr. Jose Maria Iparraguirre, Embassy of Spain
Mr. Antonio Munoz-Rojas, Embassy of Spain
Mr. Manuel Larrotcha, Embassy of Spain
Sweden H.E. Baroness Margaretha af Ugglas,
Minister for Foreign Affairs
Mr. Bjorn Skala, Under-Secretary for Political Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
H.E. Mr. Henrik Liljergren, Ambassador to the
United States of America
Mr. Lennart Bage, Assistant Under-Secretary,
Department of Development and Cooperation,
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Mr. Torgny Holmgren, Head of Section,
International Department, Ministry of Finance
Mr. Lars-Gunnar Wigemark, Embassy of Sweden
Switzerland Mr. Walter Fust, Director for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Assistance, Department of Foreign Affairs
Mr. Othmar Hafner, Head of Bretton Woods Institute Section, Department of Foreign Affairs
Mr. Phillipe Fontana, Head of Multilateral Financial Institutions, Department of Economy
Mr. Christian du Plessis, Embassy of Switzerland
Mr. David Vogelsanger, Embassy of Switzerland
Tunisia H.E. Mr. Habib ben Yahia, Minister for Foreign Affairs
H.E. Mr. Ismail Khelil, Ambassador to the
United States of America
Mr. Tahar Sioud, Director General,
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Mr. Kemal Ben Rejeb, Director General,
Ministry of International Cooperation
Mr. Ferid Belhaj, Embassy of Tunisia
Turkey H.E. Mr. Hikmet Çetin, Minister for Foreign Affairs
H.E. Mr. Nuzhet Kandemir, Ambassador to the
United States of America
Ambassador Baki Ilkin, Special Adviser to the Minister
Mr. Bulent Ozgun, General Director,
Under-Secretariat of Treasury and Foreign Trade
Mr. Rafet Akgunay, Embassy of Turkey Mr. Tacan Ildem, Embassy of Turkey
United Arab Emirates H.E. Mr. Rashid Abdallah Al Noami,
Minister for Foreign Affairs
H.E. Mr. Ahmed Humaid Al Tayer, Minister of State
for Finance and Industry
Mr. Nasser Al Nowais, Under-Secretary,
Ministry of Finance and Industry
H.E. Mr. Mohammed bin Hussein al-Shaali, Ambassador to the United States of America
Miss Nariman A. Kamber, Director of Investment Department, Ministry of Finance and Industry
Mr. Ali Mohammed Ali, Embassy of the United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom of H.E. Baroness Lynda Chalker, Minister for Overseas
Greate Britain and Development, Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Northern Ireland Mr. Timothy Lankester, Permanent Under-Secretary,
Overseas Development Administration
Sir Michael Burton, Assistant Under-Secretary, FCO
Mr. Kevin Tebbit, Head, Economic Relations Office, FCO
Mr. David Stanton, UK Alternate Delegate to IBRD
Mr. Mark Lowcock, Private Secretary to Lady Chalker
United Nations Mr. James Gustave Speth, United Nations
Under-Secretary-General and Administrator of the
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Mr. William Eagleton, Deputy Commissioner-General,
United Nations Relief and Works Agency
for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)
Mr. Ali Attiga, Assistant Secretary-General and Director
of Arab Bureau of UNDP
Mr. Timothy Rothermel, Director of UNDP Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People
Mr. Richard Hooper, Assistant to the Chef de Cabinet, UNRWA
Yemen H.E. Dr. Abdul Karim al-Iryani, Minister of Planning
H.E. Mr. Alawi Saleh al-Salami, Minister of Finance
H.E. Mr. Mohsin Alaini, Ambassador to the
United States of America
Mr. Anwar Rizq al-Harazi, Assistant Deputy Minister for Planning and Development