Question of Palestine home || Permalink || About UNISPAL || Search
Message de l'Egypte au Secrétaire général, y compris les "Dix points" - Lettre d'Egypte

English (pdf) ||Arabic||Chinese||Français||Русский||Español||

Follow UNISPAL Twitter RSS


        General Assembly
        Security Council

22 November 1989

Forty-fourth session Forty-fourth year
Agenda items 37 and 39
Note verbale dated 22 November 1989 from the Permanent Mission of
Egypt to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General

The Permanent Mission of the Arab Republic of Egypt to the United Nations presents its compliments to the Secretary-General of the United Nations and has the honour of forwarding herewith the message addressed to the Secretary-General from Dr. Esmat Abdel Meguid, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Egypt, on 22 November 1989 regarding the present efforts being undertaken in the context of the peaceful settlement of the Middle East crisis.

The Permanent Mission of the Arab Republic of Egypt to the United Nations requests that the said letter be distributed as an official document of the General Assembly, under agenda items 37 and 39, and of the Security Council.

89-29992 1139c (E)


Letter dated 22 November 1989 from the Deputy Prime Minister and
Minister for Foreign Affairs of Egypt to the Secretary-General

Further to my previous communications to you concerning Egypt's efforts to advance the peace process in the Middle East and the developments relating to this process of which you are aware, and on the basis of our full and continuing confidence in your positive role in the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East based on respect for the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and the relevant resolutions of the Organization, in particular Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), I should like to inform you hereunder of the latest developments in that respect.

1. The uprising of the Palestinian people has added its weight to developments relating to the situation in the Middle East, at the core of which is the question of Palestine, and has thereby had an impact on the earnest efforts currently under way to set in motion the peace process in the region.

2. The Palestine Liberation Organization announced an important initiative on the road to a just peace in the Middle East when the Palestine National Council adopted its historic resolutions on 15 November 1988 accepting Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) and other matters and thereby introducing into the arena of the peace process a new position heralding positive developments, particularly with the wide-ranging support accorded to those resolutions by the General Assembly at its historic meeting at Geneva last December.

3. In another respect, the Egyptian Government considered the proposals communicated to you by Israel, notwithstanding their particulars, as a sign indicating Israel's readiness to understand the gravity of the situation and to concede the impossibility of the situation in the occupied territory and that with respect to the peace process remaining as they are.

4. The Egyptian Government nevertheless saw in the Israeli proposals what could be interpreted merely as an attempt to contain the situation in the territories that it has been occupying and to cope with the deterioration of that situation without according sufficient weight to the reciprocal rights and obligations of the two parties to the conflict, namely the Israelis and the Palestinians, within the framework of a comprehensive peaceful solution.

5. Hence, Egypt saw a need to contribute to the ongoing process by endeavouring to rationalize the framework in which it is taking place and to clarify matters with regard to its future course. It thus presented the 10 points whose tenor has previously been communicated to you and the text of which I have the pleasure to append to this letter in order to facilitate reference thereto.

6. In fact, the Egyptian initiative has been based on two basic matters:

The first is to put forward clarifications, or the 10 points, so as to supplement the instruments adduced in the framework of the present process, which are based on parameters on which there is consensus in the framework of the principles of the Charter and the elements for a peaceful settlement in the Middle East.

The second is to put forward the idea of holding a Palestinian-Israeli dialogue in Cairo between an Israeli Government delegation and a mandated Palestinian delegation in which each party would be free to present its position on the settlement process and to discuss the question of elections and any other matter related thereto.

7. It is self-evident that this dialogue, which we hope will begin at the earliest possible opportunity, might lead to an agreement between the two parties on the holding of elections in the occupied Palestinian territory as a step on the road to a just and comprehensive settlement of the question of Palestine which takes account of the rights of the two parties and the obligations that they agree to assume and which are conceded to be necessary in accordance with the instruments governing the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the principle of the peaceful settlement of disputes.

8. It is also self-evident that this dialogue does not, in our view, constitute an alternative to the convening of the International Peace Conference at a subsequent stage and does not block the way to other roles in the peace process or other contributions to it, whether within the United Nations or with or between the parties directly concerned.

9. In the framework of the present endeavour, the Egyptian position is governed by the following important factors:

(a) Egypt's role in current efforts is an ancillary and adjunctive one. In this connection, Egypt does not consider itself as a substitute for the Palestinian party, whether in the adoption of decisions relating to the dialogue or in the selection of those who will participate in it as part of the mandated Palestinian delegation, since it is the Palestinians and their legitimate representatives alone who have the right to make such a decision.

(b) The Palestinian delegation to the dialogue must be formed of those both within and outside the Palestinian territory in order to ensure appropriate and genuine representation for the entire Palestinian people, and the matter of its composition is within the purview of its legitimate leadership. In this respect, it is possible for consultations to take place on that matter between Egypt and the Palestinian leadership, as long as that is acceptable to the latter in view of certain practical considerations of which you are aware.

(c) Both parties will naturally be entitled to raise and request discussion of all matters relating to a settlement, including the Israeli election proposal.

10. In the context of preparations for the aforementioned dialogue, the United States has presented its own five-point proposal which is currently being discussed within the Palestinian leadership, particularly since the Palestinians have sought a number of clarifications thereon from the United States Administration which, it seems, will take a position based on positive elements and will aim at balancing the rights and demands of the Israeli and Palestinian sides.

11. In reviewing the Palestinian position, I should like to point out that, once the Palestinians have completed their consideration of the principles on which the endeavour of the United States Secretary of State to advance the peace process and promote the success of the idea of a dialogue is based and immediately we are informed of that and at the request of the Palestinian side, we shall inform the United States accordingly.

12. The present delicate stage requires the avoidance of any secret guarantees or guarantees addressed to any one side that might impede the peace process at any stage or prevent any of the parties directly involved or otherwise concerned from making a positive contribution to that difficult and complex process at the present time or in the future.

Finally, in accordance with the position it has constantly adopted, Egypt welcomes all positive contributions to the peace process, particularly since the international guarantees with which it must be encompassed are the responsibility of the international community as a whole. It is that international community which unanimously adopted the two major resolutions on the situation in the Middle East, namely Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), and it is on the purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations that that community is based.
Dr. Esmat Abdel MEGUID
Deputy Prime Minister and
Minister for Foreign Affairs

Clarifications and issues for the Israeli Government:
the ten points

1. The necessity for the participation of all citizens of the West Bank and Gaza (including the residents of East Jerusalem) in the elections both in the voting and in the right to stand as a candidate for any person who has not been convicted by a court of committing a crime. This allows for the participation of those under administrative detention.

2. Freedom to campaign before and during the elections.

3. Acceptance of international supervision of the election process.

4. Prior commitment of the Government of Israel that it will accept the results of the elections.

5. Commitment of the Government of Israel that the elections will be part of the efforts which will lead not only to an interim phase, but also to a final settlement and that all efforts from beginning to end will be based on the principles of solution according to the United States conception, namely Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), territory for peace, insuring the security of all the States of the region, including Israel, and Palestinian political rights.

6. Withdrawal of the Israeli army during the election process at least 1 kilometre outside the perimeters of the polling stations.

7. Prohibition of Israelis from entering the West Bank and Gaza on election day, with permission to enter only for those who work there and the residents of the settlements.

8. The preparatory period for the elections should not exceed two months. These preparations shall be undertaken by a joint Israeli-Palestinian committee. The United States and Egypt may assist in forming this committee.

9. Guarantee by the United States of all the above points, together with a prior declaration to that effect on the part of the Government of Israel.

10. A halt to settlements.

Follow UNISPAL RSS Twitter