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The Wye River Memorandum:
U.S. Letters of Assurance to Israel for Wye Accord

(October 29-30, 1998)


Wye River Memorandum: Table of Contents | Full Text | Implementation Timeline


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Embassy of the United States of America
Tel Aviv
October 30, 1998

Mr. Dani Naveh
Cabinet Secretary
Office of the Prime Minister
Jerusalem

Dear Dani:

I wanted to confirm our policy on the issues of Reciprocity/Parallelism, Permanent Status Negotiations, and Prisoner Releases. In this regard, the statements issued publicly by the State Department on October 29, 1998, are accurate and represent our policies.

On Reciprocity/Parallelism, the statement said: "resolving the crisis of confidence between Israelis and Palestinians requires each side to fulfill a set of responsibilities based on the concept of reciprocity. I.E., both sides must carry out their respective obligations in accordance with the Wye River Memorandum. These obligations will be implemented or carried out in a parallel phased approach in accordance with the mutually agreed Time Line."

As for Permanent Status Negotiations, the statement said: "the U.S. is highly sensitive to the vital importance of the permanent status issues to Israel's future. We recognize that the security of the State of Israel and the Israeli public is at stake, and the U.S. commitment to Israel's security remains ironclad."

"We appreciate that if the U.S. is invited by both parties to participate in the permanent status talks, which are to be conducted between Israel and the Palestinians on a bilateral basis, we will do so for the purpose of facilitating the negotiations."

"Only Israel can determine its own security needs and decide what solutions will be satisfactory."

"We also understand that any decision to convene or seek to convene a summit to resolve permanent status issues will need the agreement of both parties."

With regard to the issue of prison releases and the question of a "revolving door," the statement said: "we have had discussions with the Palestinians and they have given us a firm commitment that there will be no 'revolving door.'"

These public statements by the State Department represent our policies. We will not change them and they will remain our policies in the future.

Sincerely,
Edward S. Walker Jr.
Ambassador


U.S. State Department
Washington, D.C.
October 30, 1998

Mr. Dani Naveh
Cabinet Secretary
Office of the Prime Minister
Jerusalem

Dear Mr. Naveh:

I wanted to provide further clarification of the understanding of the United States regarding one of the issues addressed in the "Wye River Memorandum."

With respect to the Palestinian side's provision of its list of policemen to Israel (II(C)(1)(a)), the U.S. has been assured that it will receive all appropriate information concerning current and former policemen as part of our assistance program. It is also our understanding that it was agreed by the two sides that the total number of Palestinian policemen would not exceed 30,000.

Sincerely,
Dennis B. Ross
Special Middle East Coordinator


Embassy of the United States of America
Tel Aviv
October 29, 1998

Mr. Dani Naveh
Cabinet Secretary
Office of the Prime Minister
Jerusalem

Dear Dani:

I wanted to confirm our policy on the issue of the 3rd phase of further redeployment. In this regard, the statement issued publicly by the State Department on October 27, 1998, is accurate and represents our policy.

Regarding the third further redeployment, the statement said: "during the discussions leading to this agreement, the U.S. made clear to both parties that it will not adopt any position or express any view about the size or the content of the third phase of Israel's further redeployment, which is an Israeli responsibility to implement rather than negotiate."

"Under the terms of the memorandum, an Israeli-Palestinian committee is being established. Nonetheless we urge the parties not to be distracted from the urgent task of negotiating permanent status arrangements, which are at the heart of the matter and which will determine the future of the area."

"Our own efforts have been and will continue to be dedicated to that vital task."

This public statement by the State Department represents our policy. We will not change it and it will remain our policy in the future.

Sincerely,
Edward S. Walker, Jr.
Ambassador


Embassy of the United States of America
Tel Aviv
October 29, 1998

Mr. Dani Naveh
Cabinet Secretary
Office of the Prime Minister
Jerusalem

Dear Dani:

I wanted to confirm our policy on the issues of unilateral actions and the Charter of the PLO. In this regard, the statements issued publicly by the State Department on October 27, 1998, are accurate and represent our policies.

With regard to unilateral declarations or other unilateral actions, the statement said: "as regards to the possibility of a unilateral decision of statehood or other unilateral actions by either party outside the negotiating process that prejudge or predetermine the outcome of those negotiations, the U.S. opposes and will oppose any such unilateral actions."

"Indeed, the U.S. has maintained for many years that an acceptable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can only be found through negotiations, not through unilateral actions. And as we look to the future, that will remain our policy."

"For the present, we are doing all we can to promote permanent status negotiations on an accelerated basis. And we are stressing that those who believe that they can declare unilateral positions or take unilateral acts, when the interim period ends, are courting disaster."

With regard to the PNC, the statement said: "the Wye River Agreement specifies that the members of the PNC (as well as the members of the PLO Central Council, the Palestinian Council and the Heads of Palestinian Ministries) will be invited to a meeting which President Clinton will attend."

"The purpose of this meeting of the PNC and other PLO organizations is to reaffirm Chairman Arafat's January 22 letter to President Clinton nullifying each of the Charter's provisions that are inconsistent with the PLO's commitments to renounce terror, and to recognize and live in peace with Israel."

"This process of reaffirmation will make clear, once and for all, that the provisions of the PLO Charter that call for the destruction of Israel are null and void."

These public statements by the State Department represent our policies. We will not change them and they will remain our policies in the future.

Sincerely,
Edward S. Walker, Jr.
Ambassador


Sources: Israeli Government Press Office

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