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Source: Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR)
1 December 1991
APPROACHES TOWARDS
THE SETTLEMENT
OF THE ARAB-ISRAELI CONFLICT
AND THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE

Issue 8 - November 1991


Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ii

Remarks by the United Nations Secretary-General on the peace process,
United Nations Headquarters, 5 November 1991 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

Excerpts from the PLO Chairman's address concerning the intifadah
and the Middle East Peace Conference, 9 November 1991. . . . . . . . . . 1

Excerpts from an interview with Foreign Minister of Egypt
Amre M. Moussa, Cairo, 14 November 1991. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

Excerpts from a statement by Prime Minister Itzhak Shamir,
Tel Aviv, 24 November 1991 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

Text of announcement by the Israeli Government regarding the
Washington round of negotiations, Tel Aviv, 27 November 1991 . . . . . . 6

Excerpts from an interview with King Hussein of Jordan,
Amman, 29 November 1991. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Notes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7











United Nations
New York, December 1991




- ii -




INTRODUCTION


In April 1991, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People requested that the Division for Palestinian Rights of the United Nations Secretariat prepare urgently and update regularly, for the use of the Committee members and observers, a compilation of relevant recent statements, declarations and proposals regarding the settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict, including the question of Palestine and the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East. The first issue of the compilation, prepared in response to the decision of the Committee, appeared the same month.

Note should be made that reproduced herein are only those parts of the statements, declarations, proposals and initiatives, quoted or summarized, which relate to the Arab-Israeli conflict and the question of Palestine.


Remarks by the United Nations Secretary-General on the peace process,
United Nations Headquarters, 5 November 1991


On 5 November 1991, in an interview with Canal Plus television of Spain at the United Nations Headquarters, the United Nations Secretary-General said, inter alia, the following on the question of the Middle East Peace Conference and the United Nations role in the peace process:

"...

"Madrid has proved that dialogue is possible.

"On the other hand, Arab States should change their systematic anti-Israel rhetoric which obviously creates in Israel an atmosphere of mistrust regarding Arab countries' will to recognize Israel...

"...

"I naturally think the presence of the United Nations is indispensable since the framework for the negotiations is [provided by] three very important UN resolutions."1/




Excerpts from the PLO Chairman's address concerning the intifadah
and the Middle East Peace Conference, 9 November 1991


On 9 November 1991, Mr. Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), delivered a statement to commemorate the forty-eighth month of the intifadah.* In his address, Mr. Arafat stated, inter alia:

"...

"Four years of heroic confrontation and obstinate steadfastness have passed; four years of great, unlimited sacrifices; fours years of restructuring our society, introducing the spirit and values of the valiant intifadah; four years of a unique revolutionary experience serving as a beacon for the nations of the world and a model emulated by those aspiring for freedom.

"And now, after many years of revolution and long and tough struggle, we are firming up our promise on the political, historical, and geographic map of this world. And after four years of the escalating intifadah, we have started to reap the fruits. And after our long patience and faithful resilience, we have begun the harvest season. Here is the intifadah, the culmination of our people's jihad throughout this century, recording a decisive and historic achievement for our cause.

"Yes, my brothers, and my beloved ones. When, a few days ago, our Palestinian delegation sat at the negotiating table in Madrid to speak in the name of the people of Palestine, that meant rectifying history, and abolishing decades of the deliberate exclusion of our voice and its independence. It also meant entrenching the presence and existence of a people that have roots, heritage, and rights, a people with a presence pulsating with resistance and steadfastness, and a future dedicated to freedom and independence.

"That meant a historic reply, a historic reply refuting the dictum that was announced by the Zionists at the Basel Congress in 1897 that Palestine was a land without a people for a people without a land. When the voice of our people resounded in Madrid through their delegation, which enjoys their trust and that of their leadership--the PLO--the world listened to the voice of more than 6 million Palestinians in the homeland, in the exiles, and in the diaspora and also listened to the epic of the bitter suffering, the firm steadfastness, the brave resistance, and the just struggle. Our participation in the Middle East Peace Conference, which was called by Presidents Gorbachev and Bush and which was approved by our institution and legislative frameworks, came as a result of a sound understanding and an accurate assessment of the changes in our world and as a result of the desire and commitment for protecting the higher national interests of our people as well as the higher pan-Arab interests.

"Participation in this way, as well as the distinguished performance, have destroyed the restrictions, the conditions, and the proposals which they tried to impose on that participation, both in form and substance. We have imposed the brilliant presence of our people's cause from our own point of view and on the basis of our legitimate rights and our firm demands, thereby cancelling attempts to exclude us, dwarf us, and belittle us and proving our people's unity wherever they are as well as their commitment to their leadership, framework, and institutions. We have also aborted attempts at division, sharing, and fragmentation, be they plots to exclude Jerusalem and the holy shrines, divide the people inside and outside the occupied territories, or attempts to deal with Palestine separately and apart from the Arabs.

"The Madrid days have been Arab-Palestinian days, during which our people's just cause was imposed on the conscience of the entire world. Those days culminated decades of jihad, struggle, and steadfastness, and entrenched the changes the intifadah has effected on world public opinion. Thus, the world found itself before two contradictory examples and two conflicting positions. On the one hand, our message was that of truth, freedom, justice, and peace; it was the message of a steadfast people waging jihad in their revolution and intifadah, demanding peace, while adhering to their inalienable national rights and to their right to defend their Islamic and Christian holy places and their children and land. It was the message of a people capable of seizing the historic moment and asserting the conformity of their objectives with the slogans of a new era in the world's history. It was a message of people wrenching for the first time in this century their legitimate right to be directly, clearly, and even distinctly present in a forum devoted to discussing their destiny, rights, cause, land and holy places.

"Yes, our people in Madrid presented their true and worthy image. Their genuine cry attracted the world's comprehensive sympathy, support, and understanding. On the other hand, the speech of the occupiers reflected the dreams and hatred of racial superiority and the arrogance of imported force. It emerged from the heart of mythology and the illusions of expansion, alien to the spirit of the age and defying human values and international legitimacy. In Madrid, Israel presented its real, ugly, and dangerous image and showed the dimensions of its ambitions and goals and the dangers they pose to our Palestinian and Arab territories and to our Palestinian people and our Arab nation. In the name of God, the merciful, the compassionate. O ye who believe! Take your precautions, and either go forth in parties or go forth all together. [Koranic verse]

"Sisters and brothers, the Madrid Conference has confirmed the existence of our people on the world's political map, and consecrated our presence in the new world order. However, this new order will not be constructed at the expense of our nation and our people, as happened before, thanks to the Sykes-Picot and Yalta agreements. All this was reinforced by the good performance of our brothers, members of the Arab delegations, and also of the joint Jordanian-Palestinian delegation, not to mention the splendid work of our Palestinian delegation, as well as the excellent performance of its members, who held the banner of our people and homeland, defended our cause and rights, and confirmed the cohesion and unity of our masses everywhere. Similarly, they affirmed their allegiance to their national movement--the PLO--leader of their struggle, guardian of their history and heritage, and forger of the future of our generations. They were excellent peers in all respects. Thus, they have earned the greetings, appreciation, and salute of our people. In the name of God, the merciful, the compassionate. When thou threwest a handful of dust, it was not thy act, but God's: In order that He might test the believers by a gracious trial from Himself: For God is He who heareth and knoweth all things. That, and also because God is He who makes feeble the plans and stratagems of the unbelievers. [Koranic verses]

"Brothers and beloved ones: Throughout the past two weeks, you have taken to the streets of cities, villages and camps in our occupied homeland in sweeping marches and demonstrations, holding the banner of the PLO, and the banner of adherence to the resolutions of our Palestine National Council and our Central Council. By so doing, you have asserted your firm adherence to our demands for freedom and national independence. By this sweeping surge of mass action, you provided our delegation in Madrid with unequaled support and backing. Thus, the picture has become complete before the world, affirming the unity of our people and their rallying around their leadership, around their objectives, and around rights. Our decision to take part in the Peace Conference was made in accordance with a democratic process conducted by our institutions and establishments. We are strongly keen to confirm the right to voice differing opinions, and affirm respect for dissenting views on the basis of maintaining objectivity, keenly safeguarding national unity, and that there should be no recourse, in word or deed, to defamation or intellectual terrorism."2/


___________________

*As broadcast by Voice of Palestine. Place and date not given.
Excerpts from an interview with Foreign Minister of Egypt Amre M. Moussa,
Cairo, 14 November 1991


In an interview with a correspondent of Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, which appeared in the issue of 14 November 1991, Mr. Amre M. Moussa, Foreign Minister of Egypt, commented on the Middle East Peace Conference and the peace process:
Tel Aviv, 24 November 1991


On 24 November 1991, at Ben-Gurion Airport, upon his return to Tel Aviv from the United States, Prime Minister Itzhak Shamir said, inter alia:


On 27 November 1991, at Tel Aviv, the following official announcement on the Israeli Government's decision concerning the venue for direct negotiations was made by Mr. Ehud Gol, Media Adviser to the Prime Minister:


On 29 November 1991, at Amman, in an interview with a London-based MBC Television reporter, King Hussein said the following regarding the current state of the peace process:

* * *



Notes


1. A Reuters dispatch from Madrid, dated 5 November 1991.

2. Foreign Broadcast Information Service, Daily Report: Near East and South Asia, No. FBIS-NES-91-221, 15 November 1991, p. 2-4.

3. Ibid., No. FBIS-NES-91-222, 18 November 1991, pp. 7-8.

4. Ibid., No. FBIS-NES-91-227, 25 November 1991, pp. 25-26.

5. Ibid., No. FBIS-NES-91-230, 29 November 1991, p. 17.

6. Ibid., No. FBIS-NES-91-232, 3 December 1991, p. 29.

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