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Five-Point Election Plan of Secretary of State Baker

On 15 September, Egypt's ambassador to Israel formally submitted to the Israel Government Mubarak's Ten-Point Plan. It was discussed in the cabinet, which decided to send Defense Minister Rabin to Cairo for talks with President Mubarak. This took place on 18 September. Mr. Mubarak said he had Arafat's approval for his elections plan. Israel feared that Egypt was trying to introduce the PLO into the peace process through the back door. In separate meetings with President Bush in New York (25 September), Vice Premier Peres urged the U.S. to take a more active role in the process. Mr. Arens suggested a Shamir-Mubarak meeting. On 26 September, Prime Minister Shamir said that the Egyptian proposal was still unacceptable to Israel. Secretary of State Baker then embarked on an effort to break the deadlock. While supporting the Egyptian initiative, Mr. Baker sought to narrow the differences between Israel and Egypt in a positive spirit. On 6 October, the Israel cabinet once again rejected the Egyptian plan by a vote of 6 in favour (Labour) and 6 against (Likud). The U.S. expressed its disappointment but Mr. Baker began to draw up his own plan for the elections. Reports of such a plan started circulating on 10 October. Both Israel and the PLO were opposed to outside intervention. The U.S. threatened that it would disengage from the process if there would be no compromise. Israel was shown the document in late October and agreed to consider it in principle, while expressing reservations on two points. Israel wanted to ensure that the PLO will not be part of the process in any way and that at the initial stage, the final resolution of the Palestinian issue not be discussed. Text of the Baker plan follows:

1. The United States understands that (because) Egypt and Israel have been working hard (on the peace process) [and that] there is [now] agreement that an Israeli delegation will conduct a dialogue with a Palestinian delegation in Cairo.

2. The United States understands that Egypt cannot substitute (itself) for the Palestinians [in that dialogue] and [that] Egypt will consult with the Palestinians on all aspects of that dialogue. Egypt will also consult with Israel and the United States.

3. The United States understands that Israel will attend the dialogue (only) after a satisfactory list of Palestinians has been worked out. Israel will also consult with Egypt and the United States [on this matter.]

4. The United States understands that the government of Israel will come to the dialogue on the basis of the Israeli government's May 14 initiative.

The United States further understands that (the Palestinians will come to the dialogue prepared to discuss) elections and negotiations [will be] in accordance with the Israeli initiative. The United States understands, therefore, that the Palestinians will be free to raise issues that relate to their opinion on how to make elections and negotiations succeed.

5. In order to facilitate the process, the United States proposes that the foreign ministers of Israel, Egypt and the United States meet in Washington within two weeks.

Israeli Foreign Ministry