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Source: United States of America
23 October 1998

Letter of Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu following the signing of the Wye River Memorandum
October 23, 1998



October 23, 1998

Dear Mr. Prime Minister:

The United States is pleased to have worked with you in achieving a successful outcome in the negotiations on "The Wye River Memorandum." We believe its parallel phased approach will help provide greater confidence to both sides in the implementation process, since actions in each stage of the time line are to be completed by both sides before moving to the next stage. I can confirm that the United States is prepared to play the role identified for it in the Memorandum.

The United States recognizes the importance of the security provisions of "The Wye River Memorandum" to the State of Israel. In this context, and given the role specified for the United States in the Memorandum, we wish to reiterate our ironclad commitment to Israel's security and to peace, and to stress that Palestinian security undertakings are a critical foundation of the Memorandum.

In this context, we wanted to confirm our understanding of assurances we have received from the Palestinians on several issues that you have indicated are of special concern to Israel. Regarding the Palestinian apprehension of terrorism suspects (II (A) (1) (d)), we have been assured that all the cases which have been identified will be acted upon. With respect to Palestinian decisions regarding the prosecution, punishment or other legal measures that affect the status of individuals suspected of abetting or perpetrating acts of violence or terror, there are procedures in place to prevent unwarranted releases. Furthermore, we will express our opposition to any unwarranted releases of such suspects, and in the event of such a release, we will be prepared to express our position publicly.

Regarding the Palestinian side's program for confiscation and disposition of illegal weapons under paragraph II (A) (2) (b), our assistance to the Palestinian side will help ensure that any retention of weapons is consistent with the relevant Interim Agreement provisions, including Article IV (5) of Annex I. The U.S. plans to inform Israel periodically of the progress of our assistance program. Finally, with respect to the Palestinian side's provision of its list of policemen to Israel (II (C) (1) (a)), the U.S. has been assured that it will receive all appropriate information concerning current and former policemen as part of our assistance program.


Madeleine K. Albright

His Excellency
Binyamin Netanyahu
Prime Minister of Israel

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