(16 September 1991)

“US Memorandum of Agreement to Israel.” Journal of Palestine Studies 21.2 (1992): 120. Print.


    1. The aim of the renewed peace process is to achieve a just, stable, and viable peace in the Middle East by the signing of peace agreements on the basis of Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, while acknowledging that the various parties have different interpretations of these resolutions.  It will be a two-tracked process through direct negotiations between Israel and its neighboring states (except for Egypt, with which it already has a signed peace accord), and between Israel and a Jordanian-Palestinian delegation.
    2. The negotiations will be inaugurated in a conference under the joint auspices of the United States and the USSR.
    3. The direct bilateral negotiations between Israel and the neighboring states are aimed at achieving peace accords that will result in full diplomatic relations.
    4. The negotiations between Israel and the Jordanian-Palestinian delegation are aimed at:
    1. Achieving an Israeli-Jordanian peace accord;
    2. Achieving interim arrangements of self-rule for five years.  Starting from the third year, negotiations will be conducted on the permanent status of the territories.  The negotiations will be conducted with the aim of achieving an agreement on the interim arrangements within one year.
    1. Israel and the United States recognize that to achieve an overall Middle East peace, the peace circle must be expanded to include other countries in the region which continue to maintain a state of war with Israel and/or which participated in wars against Israel in the past.


      1. The invitations to the conference to be issued by the United States and the USSR as cosponsors will be agreed upon with Israel; the invitations will mention that an aim of the conference is bilateral peace accords.
      2. It is understood that the USSR, a cosponsor, will renew full diplomatic relations with Israel before the invitations are issued.
      3. The invitees to the conference will be:  Israeli, Jordanian-Palestinian, Lebanese, and Syrian delegations.  The invitations will be dispatched to the government leaders of Israel, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon.  The opening will be at the ministerial level.  The bilateral negotiations can be at the level of senior officials.
      4. Egypt and the EEC Ministerial Council will be invited to participate in the conference.
      5. The secretary general of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) will participate in the conference as an observer.
      6. A UN observer, the personal representative of the secretary general, will be invited to the conference.
      7. Observers will participate in the meetings of the conference but will not be able to make any speeches.
      8. The conference that will inaugurate the direct bilateral negotiations will include declarations by the cosponsors, the delegations, and the Egyptian and European participants; there will be no negotiations at the conference.
      9. The conference will not be able to impose solutions on the sides nor to impose a veto on the agreements to be achieved by the sides.  It will not have the authority to make decisions nor to decide on issues or results.
      10. The site of the opening conference will be agreed upon by all the sides.
      11. Two days after the opening ceremony, the bilateral negotiations will start.  The negotiations will be conducted between the sides.
    1. Within two weeks after the opening ceremony, multilateral negotiations will begin to discuss regional issues, such as: regional security, environment, water, economic development, refugee issues, and other issues of joint interest.  Members of the GCC agreed to participate in multilateral working groups.  The cosponsors, Egypt, and the European participants can be invited to assist in these negotiations;
    2. The United States, together with other countries, such as the G-7 (the seven industrialized states) and the Gulf states, will study the possibilities of refugee rehabilitation and economic development.
      1. The locations and modalities of the bilateral and multilateral negotiations will be agreed on before the conference.
      2. The United States understands the Israeli position that there is no need to reconvene the conference and that reconvening it can be considered only to report on the agreements achieved.  In any case, reconvocation will be implemented only with the agreement of all the invitees.  The United States, in recognizing that the negotiations must be direct and bilateral and recognizing the special status of Israel in the conference, will not support reconvening the conference if Israel opposes it.
      3. When accords are achieved, the sides will be able to present them to the Security Council for its approval, and they will be recorded in the United Nations in accordance with Chapter 102 of the UN Charter.
      4. Israel and the United States agree that there will not be any linkage between the various negotiations, bilateral and multilateral, and reaching an agreement in each set of negotiations will not be held up by lack of progress in another set.

The Jordanian-Palestinian Delegation

  1. Israel and the United States acknowledge the importance of the issue of the Jordanian-Palestinian delegation and agreed that no side in the conference will be forced to sit with anybody it cannot sit with.
    1. In view of that, a Jordanian-Palestinian delegation will include Palestinians from the territories who accept the two-track approach, agree to negotiations in the aforementioned stages, are committed to living in peace with Israel, and will not be involved in terrorism and violence;
    2. The delegation will not include Jerusalemites; Israel will also not sit with “outside” Palestinians or those belonging to the PLO;
    3. Any deviation from the aforementioned, including actions or declarations by representatives who identify themselves with the PLO, will free Israel from all commitments linked to the conference.  Therefore, Israel must know beforehand the names of those proposed for the delegation and agree to sit with them.
  2. The United States has no intention of renewing its dialogue with the PLO.
  3. The PLO does not have and will not have any role in the process.
  4. The participation by the Government of Jordan in the interim arrangements and the negotiations must be one of substance.

Additional Subjects

  1. The United States will do all it can to prevent any attempt to convene the UN Security Council or any other UN body for a debate or action in connection with any of the issues to be discussed in the peace process, and if necessary will vote against such attempts;
  2. The United States will oppose, and if the need arises will vote against, any Security Council initiative to change Resolutions 242 and 338.
  1. The United States views it role in the peace process as an honest broker.  In view of that and taking into account the fact that Israel is alone in facing a group of Arab states which have been in a state of war with it since its establishment, the United States will make all efforts not to present positions to which Israel is opposed.
  1. The United States will not do anything and will aspire to prevent efforts by others to bring about the consideration of proposals which it and Israel view as damaging to Israel’s interests.
  2. Israel and the United States reconfirm their adherence to the Camp David Accords; the United States recalls, in that connection, the president’s letter of 20 April 1982 to the prime minister of Israel.  In addition, bilateral relations between Israel and Egypt must be expanded, as stated in the peace accord and the normalization agreements, which must be fully implemented.
  3. The United States will do everything it can to achieve as soon as possible in the upcoming UN General Assembly session the cancellation of General Assembly Resolution 3379 equating Zionism with racism, since it acknowledges the negative and poisonous influence of that immoral resolution.
  4. The United States promises Israel that the promises or guarantees given to Arab states or the Palestinians on the substance and procedure of the peace process will be made known to Israel.
  5. The United States reaffirms its position that Israel has the right to secure and defensible borders (being aware that the armistice lines of 5 June 1967 are neither secure nor defensible).  The borders must be discussed directly with the neighboring states.
  6. The United States opposes the idea of a Palestinian state between Israel and Jordan.
  7. Jerusalem will never be redivided.  The United States notes the Israeli position that united Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel.
  1. Existing agreements, understandings, and promises between the United States and Israel, including President Gerald Ford’s letter of 1 September 1975 to Prime Minister Yitzhaq Rabin and the 17 May 1983 Memorandum of Agreement between the Governments of the State of Israel and the United States, remain valid;
  2. The United States reaffirms its support for the 17 May 1983 agreement between Lebanon and Israel, achieved with its mediation.

This memorandum of agreement details all the understandings reached between Israel and the United States in connection with the issues discussed therein and will accordingly be implemented in full.

  1. The bilateral negotiations on the status of the occupied territories will proceed in stages, beginning with talks on transitional autonomy arrangements, and followed, within a period not exceeding the third year of the interim period, by negotiations on the final status.  The interim period will be five years.

The United States acknowledges the importance of any transitional period and will do its utmost for the fulfillment of the objectives of reaching an agreement on interim autonomy arrangements within one year.

  1. Concerning the features of the final status:
    1. No one can dictate the result in advance;
    2. In the opening statements at the conference and in the subsequent negotiations, the Palestinians will be free to raise any issue of importance to them.  The Palestinians are free to debate any result;
    3. The United States will accept any result accepted by the parties.  In this connection, confederation is not excluded as a possible result of the final stage of negotiations.
  1. Concerning Settlements: The United States has opposed, and will continue to oppose, the settlement activities in the territories occupied in 1967 which remain an obstacle to peace.
  2. Concerning the Timetable and the Time Limit:
  1. There needs to be an interim period to break the barriers of doubt and mistrust and to lay the foundations for steady negotiations on the final status of the occupied territories;
  2. The negotiations on the interim arrangements will cover the peaceful and orderly transfer of authority from Israel to the Palestinians.  The Palestinians urgently need to be in control of the political and economic decisions affecting their need to adapt to a new situation in which they would manage the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.