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Remembering the Fahd 8-point peace plan/Fez Initiative

See the Saudi initiative from 1981 and a Time magazine article about it!OpenDocument

7 August 1981
Eight Point Peace Plan
by Crown Prince Fahd ibn Abd al-Aziz of Saudi Arabia

1. Israel to withdraw from all Arab territory occupied in 1967, including Arab Jerusalem.
2. Israeli settlements built on Arab land after 1967 to be dismantled, including those in Arab Jerusalem.
3. A guarantee of freedom of worship for all religions in the Holy Places.
4. An affirmation of the right of the Palestinian Arab people to return to their homes and compensation for those who do not wish to return.
5. The West Bank and the Gaza Strip to have a transitional period under the auspices of the United Nations for a period not exceeding several months.
6. An independent Palestinian State should be set up with Jerusalem as its capital.
7. All States in the region should be able to live in peace in the region.
8. The United Nations or Member States of the United Nations to guarantee the carrying out of these provisions!OpenDocument

Final Declaration of the Twelfth Arab Summit Conference, adopted
at Fez on 9 September 1982 (20 ZU'LGA'DAH 1402 A.H.
[Original: Arabic]

The Twelfth Arab Summit Conference was convened in the city of Fez on 27 Muharram 1402 A.H., corresponding to 25 November 1981 A.D.

After suspension, it resumed for the period from 17 to 20 Zu'lga'dah 1402 A.H., corresponding to 6 to 9 September 1982 A.D., under the presidency of His Majesty King Hassan II, King of the Kingdom of Morocco.

All the Arab States participated in the work of the Conference, with the exception of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.

In view of the grave and delicate circumstances through which the Arab nation is passing and inspired by awareness of historic national responsibility, Their Majesties, Their Excellencies and Their Highnesses, the Kings, Presidents and Amirs of the Arab States examined the important questions before the Conference and took the following decisions.

I. The Arab-Israeli conflict

The Conference paid a tribute to the resistance of the forces of the Palestinian revolution, the Lebanese and Palestinian peoples and the Syrian Arab armed forces, and declared its support for the Palestinian people in their struggle for the restoration of their inalienable national rights.

Convinced of the ability of the Arab nation to achieve its legitimate objectives and to put an end to the aggression, on the basis of the fundamental principles laid down by the Arab Summit Conferences, in view of the desire of the Arab States to continue to strive by every means for the achievement of peace based on justice in the Middle East region, taking account of the plan of His Excellency President Habib Bourguiba, which holds international legality to be the basis for the solution of the Palestinian question, and of the plan of His Majesty King Fahd Ibn Abdul Aziz for peace in the Middle East and in the light of the discussions and observations of Their Majesties, Their Excellencies and Their Highnesses, the Kings, Presidents and Amirs, the Conference adopted the following principles:

1. The withdrawal of Israel from all the Arab territories occupied by it in 1967, including Arab Jerusalem;

2. The dismantling of the settlements established by Israel in the Arab territories since 1967;

3. The guaranteeing of freedom of worship and performance of religious rites for all religions in the Holy Places;

4. The reaffirmation of the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and to the exercise of their inalienable and imprescriptible national rights, under the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization, their sole and legitimate representative, and the indemnification of those who do not desire to return;

5. The placing of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip under the supervision of the United Nations for a transitional period not exceeding a few months;

6. The establishment of an independent Palestinian State with Jerusalem as its capital;

7. The establishment by the United Nations Security Council of guarantees of peace between all States of the region, including the independent Palestinian State;

8. The guaranteeing by the Security Council of the implementation of these principles.


At Odds with Nearly Everybody

Monday, Nov. 16, 1981 By GEORGE J. CHURCH

After AWACS vote, the Administration is adrift in the Mideast

They want to be pro-Arab and pro-Israel, for Prince Fahd's peace plan and for Camp David; they want to avoid alienating [Jordan 's King] Hussein but still stay anti-P.L.O. I wish them luck in making that miracle work.
That was the impression of Ronald Reagan's Middle East policy that one American Jewish leader drew from briefings of his colleagues by White House aides and State Department officials last week. The Administration might quarrel with portions of his description, but in spirit it was accurate enough. Seeking to balance conflicting pressure from Israelis, Arabs and European allies in the wake of winning Senate approval for the sale of AWACS radar planes to Saudi Arabia, the Administration found itself at odds with nearly everybody. Luck most certainly will be needed to avoid provoking even more anger, and the President and his aides did not have much luck last week.

There were a few positive developments, notably indications of a renewed Israeli effort to accelerate negotiations with Egypt toward finding some form of autonomy for Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. But any hopeful signs were overshadowed by a vituperative Israeli blast against the Administration's friends in Riyadh and by tough talk from the newly outspoken Saudis, who went so far as to suggest bringing the Soviet Union into Middle East diplomacy. Even Reagan's success in forging a warm, personal relationship with Hussein was less cheering than it might be: at the end of a visit to Washington, the Jordanian King surprised his host by disclosing that he had agreed to buy SA-6 antiaircraft missiles from the Soviets. Altogether, the week's news reinforced an impression that the Administration is improvising day to day in Middle East diplomacy rather than following a careful strategy. Said one American lobbyist for Israel, alluding to U.S. efforts to build a radar-eluding airplane: "Reagan's Middle East policy is like the Stealth-you can't see it or hear it, but it sure bombs a lot."

The focus of much of the trouble was the eight-point plan put forward in August by Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Fahd. The plan envisions creation of an independent Palestinian state on the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip, with predominantly Arab East Jerusalem as its capital. But the plan also hints at recognition of Israel's right to exist, and that has belatedly aroused Washington's interest.

In the first flush of euphoria after his AWACS victory, Reagan asserted that "we couldn't agree with all the points, nor could the Israelis," but nonetheless called the Fahd plan "a beginning point for negotiations." He elaborated later: "The most significant part is that they [the Saudis] recognize Israel as a nation to be negotiated with."

"The Fahd plan, said Begin, is merely "a plan designed for Israel's liquidation." He added: "Those eight points cannot serve as any basis for any discussion whatsoever." Begin's essential objections are that the Fahd plan does not really recognize Israel's right to exist, and that an independent Palestinian state would be dominated by the Palestine Liberation Organization, which Israelis view as a terrorist gang bent on the destruction of the Jewish state.

As a sign of displeasure, Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon postponed a planned visit to the U.S. to discuss "strategic cooperation" between America and Israel. Later, Sharon agreed to go after all at the end of this month, but in opening a new Jewish settlement on the West Bank, he declared: "Our answer to the eight [Fahd] points is eight new Israeli settlements." Israeli Ambassador Ephraim Evron lodged a protest in Washington against U.S. praise for the Fahd plan, and Begin followed up by announcing plans to send a bipartisan Israeli delegation, representing both his own Likud bloc and the opposition alignment led by the Labor Party, to the U.S. to lobby against it.

The Reagan Administration hastened to reassure the Israelis that it was not endorsing the Fahd plan, merely looking for a way to involve Arab states other than Egypt in peace negotiations with Israel. The U.S., officials said, remains committed to the peace process laid down in the Egyptian-Israeli accords reached at Camp David in 1978. Secretary of State Alexander Haig broadcast that message in testimony to Congress, in a meeting with leaders of the United Jewish Appeal and in a letter to Begin. One Administration official conceded that Reagan had "badly miscalculated" in mentioning the Fahd plan publicly. But a senior Reagan aide added: "It is unreasonable for anyone to expect us to say that if there is no progress in pursuing the Camp David accords, we will never ever think of anything else. That's sort of crazy."

The Saudis did nothing to help the Administration reassure the Israelis. Officials in Riyadh talked as if they were intent on confirming Begin's darkest suspicions. Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al Faisal asserted that the Fahd plan implied that recognition of Israel's right to exist might not come until after creation of a Palestinian state, and Fahd added that such a state would indeed be run by the P.L.O. Said Fahd: "I cannot imagine an independent Palestinian state without the P.L.O.'s approval and leadership." Worse still, from the U.S. viewpoint, Foreign Minister Saud declared that the proper forum for negotiating an Arab-Israeli settlement would be the United Nations Security Council, in which the Soviets participate, and he predicted that the Soviets will give the Fahd plan their support.