Question of Palestine home
Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR)
1 June 1992
OF THE ARAB-ISRAELI CONFLICT
AND THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE
Issue 14 - May 1992
Note. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ii
Excerpts from an interview with the Foreign Minister of
the Syrian Arab Republic Farouk al-Sharaa,
Beirut, 8 May 1992. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Extracts from an address by King Hussein before the World Forum,
The Hague, 14 May 1992. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
The Arab-Israeli peace negotiations: chronology of meetings,
May 1992. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
New York, June 1992
- ii -
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 on a monthly basis 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 for the use of the Committee members and observers. The present issue covers the month of May 1992.
Reproduced herein are only those parts of the statements, declarations, documents, proposals and initiatives, quoted or summarized, which relate to the Arab-Israeli conflict and the question of Palestine.
Excerpts from an interview with the Foreign Minister
of the Syrian Arab Republic Farouk al-Sharaa
8 May 1992, Beirut
In an interview (place and date not given) with a correspondent of Beirut-based
, which appeared in the issue of 8 May 1992, Mr. Farouk al-Sharaa explained
his country's stand with regard to the current Arab-Israeli peace negotiations:
"It is clear so far that Israel is attempting to dodge any serious commitment to the principle of withdrawing from the occupied Arab territories or to establish a just and comprehensive regional peace on the basis of 242 and 338. Shamir's almost daily statements confirm Israel's intentions not to withdraw from the occupied territories. Based on the past five rounds of talks in Washington, we do not believe the Israeli side was given the authority to say Israel would implement resolutions 242 and 338.
"To put it more clearly, it was as though Shamir's government had instructed its delegation not to reach any tangible results during the peace talks. This was evident when the Syrian delegation pressured the Israeli delegation to accept a logical procedure for the implementation of these two resolutions and accept the principle of withdrawal. Whenever this happened, the Israeli delegation would bring up side issues to evade a logical response, which is Israel's withdrawal from the occupied Arab territories. This is the only way to reach a comprehensive peace in the region.
"Moreover, the Israeli side would repeat the cliche statements about peace without clearly linking it to the withdrawal process. Syria cannot, under any circumstance, accept a regional peace if Israel does not totally leave all occupied Arab territories.
"Israel's current concept of peace is rejected in form and content.
"Regarding the future rounds, we are convinced that Israel, which is currently exploiting the preoccupation of an important country with internal problems to evade implementing resolutions 242 and 338, will be unable to continue this evasion process. The whole world - led by the United States, which continues to adhere to the peace process on the basis of resolutions 242 and 338 - will realize that Israel is the one placing obstacles before peace. Israel is the only party whose aim is to ruin the current opportunity for regional peace. It is natural in this case for the entire international community to express its opinion on Israel's responsibility in wasting this historic opportunity and to hold it responsible not only for the absence of peace, but for shattering the peace and stability of the entire region."
Extracts from an address by King Hussein before
the World Forum, The Hague, 14 May 1992
On 14 May 1992, at The Hague, King Hussein of Jordan addressed the World Forum. In a speech entitled "The Middle East and the New International Policies" King Hussein presented his vision of the region. He said
"The foundations of a genuinely new and better order in the Middle East, in my vision, must rise on a number of pillars:
"First: There is a need throughout the region for legitimate constitutional regimes that respect the individual citizen's rights to enjoy freedom of belief and expression, and which assure the welfare and safety of the community.
"Second: The international community should address the problems of the Middle East in a balanced and even-handed manner. It should avoid actions and policies which create new problems or aggravate old ones. It should base its decisions on the same principles it supports in other regions. It is sad when we see some quarters in the Western world indifferent to these issues when they believe their interests are at stake. Silence in the face of injustice or oppression is a form of complicity.
"Fifth: The opportunities for education and access to culture should be available to all. The diffusion of information is an inseparable element of self-determination and self-realization, and the exercise of freedom and the acquisition of scientific and technological know-how is both a right and a condition of social progress which must be protected.
"Sixth: Efforts to free the entire area from weapons of mass destruction of all kind should be strongly supported and security arrangements to meet the real needs of the region should be created. Such security arrangements will reduce existing regional tensions, build international confidence, and reflect favourably on efforts to solve regional problems. Among these, the Arab-Israeli conflict is the most important. It is the root cause of regional instability.
"Once Palestinian national rights are restored on Palestinian soil; once a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace based on justice is established; once Jerusalem, the Holy City, becomes the symbol and essence of peace between the followers of the three great monotheistic religions in our world, then such security arrangements will also save the Governments of the area from wasteful and unnecessary expenditures on arms which serve no useful purpose to their peoples, which divert funds from development, and which endanger the collective stability of the area and the world.
"Seventh: The problems of security, development, and human rights form one indivisible whole. An integrated vision of how they may all be collectively faced should replace efforts to separate them or to favour one at the expense of the others.
"Eighth: The establishment of a healthy stable Middle East order requires the establishment of a similar order in its major component, the Arab world. Our region cannot achieve stability and progress while divisions amongst most of its states are rife, and while their peoples suffer from frustration, despair, and anger. The causes of these feelings, whether due to repression from within or domination from without, should be addressed and redressed.
"To sum up my vision of what the Middle East should and could be, it would a region where the insecure would feel secure, the victim of injustice would find redressment and compensation, the hungry would be fed, the ignorant would be educated, the Arab people would again play a role in the march of history, their causes would receive just recognition and support from the rest of the world, they would be helped to put behind them bitter memories from the past and to look to a happy future."
The Arab-Israeli peace negotiations:
chronology of meetings, May 1992
On 28-29 January 1992, multilateral deliberations, co-chaired by the Russian Federation and the United States, began in Moscow as an organizational meeting for multilateral meetings on regional issues of interest to a wider group of countries. On 29 January 1992, the deliberations continued in five working groups established to consider the following regional issues: arms control and regional security (chaired by the Russian Federation), economic development (European Community), water resources (United States), environment (Japan), and refugees (Canada). An ad hoc Steering Group, co-chaired by the Russian Federation and the United States was also formed.
During May 1992, the following meetings of the working group and the Steering Group were held:
11-12 May 1992: Economic Development (Brussels)
The meeting of this working group was attended by the Jordanian-Palestinian delegation and some 40 other participants. It took place without Israel, Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic.
The next meeting of this group is expected to be held in Paris during the autumn of 1992.
11-14 May 1992: Arms Control and Regional Security (Washington, D.C.)
Israel and Jordan attended; Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic were absent. The Palestinian side of the Jordanian-Palestinian delegation was not invited. Some 20 other delegations, including 12 Arab States attended the opening session.
The next meeting of this working group is expected to take place in Moscow during the autumn of 1992.
13-14 May 1992: Water Resources (Vienna)
Israel, Jordan, the Palestinians and some 40 other delegations reportedly attended; Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic were not present. The next meeting of this working group is expected to take place during the fall of 1992 in Washington, D.C.
13-15 May 1992: Refugees (Ottawa)
Jordan, the Palestinians and some 35 countries attended this working group; Israel, Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic refrained from participating. The meeting endorsed the future participation of UNRWA in this working group.
The next meeting of this working group is planned for the autumn of 1992 in Ottawa.
18-19 May 1992: Environment (Tokyo)
Israel, Jordan, the Palestinians and some 37 other delegations, including China and India, attended, while Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic did not participate.
The next meeting of this working group is expected to be held in The Hague during the autumn of 1992.
27 May 1992: Steering Group meeting (Lisbon)
The Steering Group met on 27 May 1992 at Lisbon to coordinate the future work of the Working Groups and appealed strongly to the absent participants of the working groups to attend the next round of multilateral meetings.
The next round of multilateral meetings is planned for the autumn of 1992, following the Israeli elections on 23 June 1992 and possibly after one more round of bilateral talks.
For statements made at the Moscow meeting, see Issue 10 (January 1992) of this publication.
* * *
1. Foreign Broadcast Information Service,
Daily Report: Near East and South Asia
, No. FBIS-NES-92-094, p. 31.
., FBIS-NES-92-095, p. 31.