Question of Palestine home
14 December 1989
Agenda items 37 and 39
THE SITUATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST
QUESTION OF PALESTINE
Letter dated 14 December 1989 from the Permanent Representative of
Jordan to the United Nations addressed
to the Secretary-General
I have the honour to transmit to you herewith the text of a letter dated 11 December 1989 addressed to you by His Excellency Mr. Marwan al-Qasim, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, regarding the report submitted by you to the General Assembly at its current forty-fourth session under agenda item 37, entitled "The situation in the Middle East", and contained in document A/44/737.
I should be grateful if you would have this letter and its annex circulated as a document of the General Assembly, under agenda items 37 and 39, and of the Security Council.
) Abdullah SALAH
Letter dated 11 December 1989 from the Deputy Prime Minister
and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Jordan addressed to the
I have studied the valuable report on the situation in the Middle East submitted by you to the General Assembly of the United Nations at-its forty-fourth session and contained in document A/44/737 of 22 November 1989.
In expressing esteem for the efforts made by the United Nations, under your leadership, in the Middle East region during the past year, I should like to make particular reference to the importance of your own endeavours and the contacts established by you with a view to advancing the peace process in order to achieve a peaceful settlement to the Arab-Israeli conflict, at the core of which is the question of Palestine.
I share your concern at the fact that valuable time is passing without appreciable progress being made in efforts for peace, and I firmly believe that the parties to the conflict and the other parties concerned now have before them a historic opportunity that must not be allowed to pass.
An extremely important initiative has been enunciated by the Palestinian side, as embodied in the decisions adopted by the November 1988 session of the Palestine National Council in Algiers and the subsequent steps taken by the Palestine Liberation Organization, which constitutes acceptance of a peaceful settlement of the Palestine issue on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973). This has had the effect of complementing the Arab position adopted at the 1982 Fez Summit Conference, and the Palestinian approach received full endorsement at the May 1989 Casablanca Summit Conference.
As you are aware, at the 1987 Amman Summit, the Arab leaders unanimously agreed that the International Peace Conference on the Middle East was the appropriate means of achieving a peaceful, lasting and comprehensive settlement in the Middle East, and that consensus was confirmed at the 1988 Algiers Summit Conference.
I find myself in agreement with your observation with regard to declarations that question the applicability of Security Council resolution 242 (1967). The Israeli Government is not content with casting such doubts, but gives repeated and constant expression to its rejection of the fundamental principles on which this resolution is based, the most important of which is the principle of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force, with its consequent refusal to return the Arab territories occupied in 1967 in exchange for peace.
The plan announced by the Israeli Government on 14 May 1989 constitutes unequivocal evidence of that refusal. One of the basic assumptions on which the plan is based is that there will be no change in the status of "Judea, Samaria and the Gaza district" other than in accordance with the basic policy of the Government. Numerous official Israeli statements and declarations, including those made in the United Nations framework, clearly express the Israeli attitude towards the resolution in question.
In view of the importance of Security Council resolution 242 (1967) and because, alongside Council resolution 338 (1973), it constitutes the foundation on which a political settlement must be based, a clear and unequivocal commitment to that resolution by all the parties to the conflict and all the other parties concerned represents, in our view, the central point in the overall peace process and, accordingly, the Jordanian Government supports all measures that may strengthen that international commitment.
Hence, I take this opportunity to reaffirm Jordan's full commitment to Security Council resolution 242 (1967) and to place on record once more the Jordanian position with respect to the peace process. It is as follows:
1. An international peace conference under United Nations auspices represents the appropriate way to achieve a peaceful settlement to the Arab-Israeli conflict and the Palestine issue, in all their aspects, on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) and of the national rights of the Palestinian people.
2. All parties to the conflict should, of course, participate in such a conference, including the Palestine Liberation Organization, the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, as well as the five States permanent members of the Security Council.
3. Jordan will participate in the conference as a party directly concerned in the Arab-Israeli conflict, but it will not act as a proxy or surrogate for the Palestine Liberation Organization with regard to a settlement of the question of Palestine.
4. A settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict and the achievement of lasting peace in the region will require:
(a) That Israel should withdraw from all the Arab territories it occupied in 1967, including Arab Jerusalem;
(b) That the Palestinian people should be allowed to exercise its legitimate national rights, including its right to self-determination and its right to establish an independent State on its national Palestinian soil;
(c) That the Security Council should guarantee the right of all States in the region to live within secure and recognized boundaries;
(d) That the problem of the Palestine refugees should be settled in a comprehensive manner and on the basis of General Assembly resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948;
(e) That the settlements established by Israel in the occupied Arab territories should be removed.
In restating the position of my country, I should like to say that Jordan is fully prepared to co-operate with you in advancing the peace process in the region and to reaffirm the importance that it attaches to the pursuit of your endeavours in view of the grave dangers implicit in the current situation in the region. It is, in our view, essential that international efforts should focus on action to address the position adopted by Israel, which continues to represent the sole obstacle to the achievement of a comprehensive political settlement.
Deputy Prime Minister and
Minister for Foreign Affairs