BUILDING PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST
"Peace must mean many things -- legitimate rights for Palestinians, real
security for Israel. But it must begin with something even more basic -- mutual
recognition, seeing people who are different, with whom there have been profound
differences, as people."
Remarks to the Members of the Palestinian National Council
And Other Palestinian Organizations
December 14, 1998
Since coming into office, President Clinton has dedicated his time and energy
to promoting a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East that
will ensure the security of Israel and the well being of its neighbors. The
United States has helped broker agreements between Israel and the Palestinians
and between Israel and Jordan and led the efforts toward a resumption of the
Israeli-Syrian talks. President Clinton has made clear that the United States
stands firmly by those who have taken risks for peace, providing them with strong
political, economic and material support; and demonstrated to the enemies of
peace that violence and terror will not succeed in disrupting the peace process.
At the same time, the United States has maintained its long-standing commitment
to the security of Israel, strengthened its ties with Egypt and Jordan and built
a new relationship with the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian people.
A RECORD OF ACCOMPLISHMENT
Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process
- Helped forge the agreements that led to the Israel-Palestinian Declaration
of Principles in September 1993 and the Interim Agreement on Palestinian self-rule
in September 1995.
- Brokered the Wye Agreement in October 1998, revitalizing the peace process
after years of stagnation. As a result of the agreements, the Palestinians
strengthened their steps against terror and their security cooperation with
Israel and agreed to undertake a program of weapons collection. The Palestinians
also agreed to formally rescind those parts of the PLO Charter that are inconsistent
with their commitment to peace. The Israeli government agreed, inter alia,
to withdraw from areas of the West Bank, release Palestinian detainees, allow
the opening of the Gaza Industrial Estate, the Gaza seaport and safe-passage
routes between Gaza and the West Bank.
- Secured congressional approval of the "Wye package" in 1999,
providing $1.2 billion to strengthen Israel's security and $400 million to
assist Palestinian economic development, a key to demonstrating the benefits
of peace to the Palestinian people.
- Helped broker the Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum, signed on September 4, 1999,
which built on the Wye agreement and established an ambitious timetable for
permanent status negotiations with the goal of reaching a permanent status
settlement by September 13, 2000.
- Hosted the Camp David Summit in July 2000, the highest-level negotiations
between Israelis and Palestinians on all permanent status issues. This was
the first time the most sensitive issues were discussed by leaders of the
- Provided strong diplomatic and material support to Israel and led the international
donor assistance effort to aid the Palestinian people. Through September 1998,
cumulative disbursements of donor aid to the Palestinians reached $2.6 billion.
The United States has committed $75 million a year since 1994. Donor states
continue to raise funds and direct projects for and within the Palestinian
Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty
Israel-Syria Peace Talks
- Helped broker the peace treaty between Jordan and Israel in October 1994.
Since the signing, Israel and Jordan have had full diplomatic exchange, and
have begun working together on development, the environment and security issues.
- Ended three years of stalemate between Syria and Israel by achieving a
resumption of Israeli-Syrian peace talks. President Clinton hosted the highest
level meeting ever between Israel and Syria in December 1999 after months
of behind-the-scenes diplomacy.
Negotiated the April 26, 1996 written agreement to protect civilians in Lebanon
- Organized the creation of regional institutions designed to preserve the
achievements of the peace process through long-term economic growth and prosperity.
In February 2000, the United States helped spearhead the resumption of the
multilateral track of the peace process with the first meeting of the multilateral
steering group since 1995.
- Worked with the United Nations to ensure implementation of UN Security
Council Resolution 425 and a peaceful Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon.
- Took decisive unilateral action and led multilateral efforts to aid Israel
against terrorists determined to undermine the peace process, including offering
counter-terrorism assistance to Israel in 1997.
- Led the "Summit of the Peace Makers" at Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt
in March 1996.
- Signed Executive Orders 12947 and 13099, declaring a national emergency
to deal with the threat of terrorists that disrupt the Middle East peace process.
TIMELINE OF ACCOMPLISHMENT
President Clinton has made over one hundred and seventy-five telephone calls
to heads-of-state in direct support of the Middle East peace process. In his
six visits to the region, the President helped advance the peace process. President
Clinton also hosted a number of meetings and summits in the United States to
move the process forward: the Israel-Syria talks at Shepherdstown in 1999, the
Wye River meetings in 1998, the 1995 Washington Summit, the 1994 signing of
the Washington Declaration by Israel and Jordan which ended the war between
the two states and the signing of the Declaration of Principles in 1993, forever
remembered for the historic hand-shake between Prime Minister Rabin and Chairman
||President Clinton hosts highest level negotiations ever between Israel
and Palestinians on permanent status issues.
||President Clinton hosts the highest-level talks ever between Israel and
||First President to visit Gaza and to address a meeting of the Palestinian
National Council which led to the formal cancellation of those clauses of
the PLO Charter that call for the destruction of Israel.
||After spending more than a week at Wye mediating between Prime Minister
Netanyahu and Chairman Arafat, President Clinton achieves the Wye River
Memorandum between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The agreement led
to unprecedented Israeli-Palestinian security cooperation, agreement by
the Palestinians to annul provisions of the PLO Charter that called for
the destruction of Israel, Israeli agreement to further land withdrawals,
the release of Palestinian detainees and steps to help promote the Palestinian
|August 22, 1998
||Furthering the ability of the United States to combat terrorist groups,
President Clinton signs Executive Order 13099.
|March 13, 1996
||President Clinton leads the Summit of the Peacemakers in Sharm el-Sheikh,
|September 28, 1995
||President Clinton hosts a White House ceremony at which Israel and the
Palestinians sign the Interim Agreement on the West Bank and Gaza Strip
as provided for in the Declaration of Principles.
|September 28, 1995
||President Clinton hosts the Washington summit attended by King Hussein,
President Mubarak, Prime Minister Rabin and Chairman Arafat to accelerate
|February 12, 1995
||President Clinton hosts the Blair House Ministerial with Egypt,
Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority.
|January 24, 1995
||President Clinton signs Executive Order 12947, declaring a national emergency
to deal with the threat of terrorists that disrupt the Middle East Peace
|October 26, 1994
||Treaty of Peace signed by Israel and Jordan at Arava. The treaty includes
full diplomatic relations between the states, as well as broad cooperation
in other areas. President Clinton's participation in the signing ceremony
underscores the U.S. commitment to peace in the region.
||President Clinton travels to the Middle East, including a stop in Damascus.
|July 25, 1994
||President Clinton hosts the signing of the Washington Declaration between
Israel and Jordan which put an end to the state of war between the two states.
|January 16, 1994
||President Clinton meets with President Asad in Geneva. President Asad
states his commitment to "put an end to the Arab-Israeli conflict."
|October 1, 1993
||President Clinton inaugurates the trilateral U.S.-Jordan-Israel Economic
|September 13, 1993
President Clinton hosts the signing of the Declaration of Principles
by Israel and the PLO.
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