Joint Statement by Presidents Mubarak
and Clinton at the Sharm e-Sheikh Summit
(October 17, 2000)
The summit started on October 16, 2000, and lasted
some 24 hours. At the conclusion, Presidents Clinton and Mubarak
issued a statement that said that Israel and the PA
had "agreed to issue public statements unequivocally calling for
an end of violence." There would also be a fact-finding committee
on the events of the previous several weeks and that the U.S. would
facilitate security cooperation between the parties. Both sides were
also called upon to return to the positions they had held before the
outbreak of violence. The sides did not sign an agreement, preferring
to leave the understandings as they were announced by the American and
President Mubarak: In the name of God Almighty;
to His Excellency, Bill Clinton; His
Majesty King Abdullah Ibn Hussein; His Excellency, Prime
Minister Barak; Mr. Chairman
Arafat; UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan; Mr. Javier Solana, high
representative of the European Union:
We spent the past two days since we started our summit
in constructive discussions and extensive dialogue about all the aspects
of the escalating situation in the occupied Palestinian territories
- discussions aimed at restoring the situation back to normal, through
withdrawing the occupying forces, lifting the blockade, putting an end
to violent acts - taking measures aiming at restoring trust and confidence
to the two Palestinian
and Israeli sides, with a view to
resuming the peace efforts after the situation is stabilized in the
Before I give the floor to His Excellency, President
Bill Clinton, the President of the United States of America, in his
capacity as the key sponsor of the peace process, to present his report
on the outcome of our relentless efforts over the two days, I would
like to stress the fact - I would like to stress a number of key points
that we should take into account in the stage to come.
First, the outcome we have reached in this summit
may not meet the expectations of all peoples. However, they constitute
at the same time a basis on which we can build, if we have good intentions,
and if the real desire to achieve peace is there.
Secondly, the most important thing in the vision of
all peoples in the days to come is the extent to which the two parties
are committed to implement what has been agreed upon precisely, and
how far they are willing to push the peace process forward. Hence, the
following days will witness redeployment of the Israeli forces, lift
the blockade imposed on three million Palestinian people, reopening
airports, ports, crossing points, in order to pacify the Palestinian
streets and bring matters back to normal.
Number three, our ultimate objective must and will
be reaching a just and comprehensive peace. We do appreciate the leading
role assumed by the United States of America, the key sponsor of the
peace process, and the sponsorship of Mr. Bill Clinton. And we highly
commend the role he assumed, including his strenuous efforts he exerted
during this summit, which were crowned in reaching an agreement.
It's my fervent hope that the peace process will go
on as planned, and that we avoid having recourse to provocative acts,
confrontations. Rather, we have to establish a constructive dialogue
in order to settle all the unresolved problems, to arrive at a peace
agreement in a context of full respect of religious sanctities, and
the right of peoples to live in peace and stability. And now I give
the floor to His Excellency, President Bill Clinton, the President of
the United States of America.
President Clinton: First of all, I want to
thank President Mubarak
and his able team for making it possible for us to have this meeting
that we have held in this magnificent and beautiful place. I especially
want to thank President Mubarak for Egypt's consistent and pivotal partnership
in the peace process and for playing a critical role in our efforts
here. I also want to thank His Majesty King Abdullah for his steadfast
leadership for peace, which again was in evidence.
I would like to thank the EU High Commissioner Javier
Solana, my longtime friend, who worked with me to bring an end to violence
in the Balkans, and now is working in the Middle East. And especially
I want to thank Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who has been here now
in the region for more than a week, and who has worked tirelessly to
bring an end to violence and to make this meeting possible.
But of course, the greatest credit for the progress
we have made today belongs to Prime Minister Barak and Chairman Arafat,
who have had to overcome the difficulties of these last several days.
And we all recognize that theirs was the primary decision to make.
Our meeting has not been easy because the last two
weeks have been so hard. A tragic and terrible confrontation costing
many lives and injuries, threatening everything that we have worked
to achieve between Israelis and Palestinians and throughout the region
and over the past seven years now.
Even as we meet, the situation in the territories
remains tense. Yesterday again was violent.
This is a reminder of the urgency of breaking the
cycle of violence. I believe we have made real progress today. Repairing
the damage will take time and great effort by all of us.
When we leave here today, we will have to work hard
to consolidate what we have agreed. Let me summarize what has been agreed
so there will be no misunderstanding.
Our primary objective has been to end the current
violence so we can begin again to resume our efforts towards peace.
The leaders have agreed on three basic objectives and steps to realize
First, both sides have agreed to issue public statements
unequivocally calling for an end of violence. They also agreed to take
immediate, concrete measures to end the current confrontation, eliminate
points of friction, ensure an end to violence and incitement, maintain
calm, and prevent recurrence of recent events.
To accomplish this, both sides will act immediately
to return the situation to that which existed prior to the current crisis,
in areas such as restoring law and order, redeployment of forces, eliminating
points of friction, enhancing security cooperation, and ending the closure
and opening Gaza airport. The United States will facilitate security
cooperation between the parties as needed.
Second, the United States will develop with the Israelis
and Palestinians, as well as in consultation with the United Nations
Secretary-General, a committee of fact-finding on the events of the
past several weeks and how to prevent their recurrence. The committee's
report will be shared by the US President with the UN Secretary-General
and the parties prior to publication. A final report shall be submitted
under the auspices of the US President for publication.
Third, if we are to address the underlying roots of
the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, there must be a pathway back to negotiations
and a resumption of efforts to reach a permanent status agreement based
on the UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 and subsequent understandings.
Toward this end, the leaders have agreed that the United States will
consult with the parties within the next two weeks about how to move
We have made important commitments here today against
the backdrop of tragedy and crisis. We should have no illusions about
the difficulties ahead.
If we are going to rebuild confidence and trust, we
must all do our part, avoiding recrimination and moving forward. I'm
counting on each of us to do everything we possibly can in the critical
I am sure it will be a disappointment to some of you,
but one of the things that all the leaders agreed was that our statement
should stand on its own and we should begin by promoting reconciliation
and avoiding conflict by forgoing questions today.
of Foreign Affairs