Under the Oslo II agreement, both sides were committed to start the negotiations for the permanent status in early May 1996, the target date for completion was May 1999. In spite of the election campaign then in its final phases in Israel, the government of Israel decided to start the talks even symbolically. This was done in Taba, under the sponsorship of President Mubarak. The parties agreed to establish a steering negotiating group to develop the concept of the permanent status agreement, define the framework and modalities of the negotiations and establish working groups as required. No further meetings were held pending the outcome of the Israeli elections. Text:
The two sides conveyed their gratitude to President Mubarak and the Egyptian Government for their hospitality in hosting the first session of the permanent status negotiations.
The two sides reaffirmed their determination to put an end to decades of confrontation and to live in peaceful coexistence, mutual dignity and security, as well as their desire to achieve a just, durable and comprehensive peace settlement and historic reconciliation through the agreed political process.
The two sides reiterated their recognition of their mutual legitimate and political rights and their adherence to the mutual recognition and commitments in the letters exchanged between the PLO and the Government of Israel on the 9th and 10th of September 1993.
The two sides reconfirmed their understanding that the negotiations on the permanent status will lead to the implementation of Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 in accordance with the Declaration of Principles. The two sides reiterated their commitment to pursue their aim of achieving a permanent, just, comprehensive peace settlement and to continue to combat terror in order to pave the way for a Palestinian-Israeli future devoid of terror and violence, a future of peace, security and stability. The two sides further agreed to form a steering negotiation group comprised of 4-5 persons from each side that would develop the concept of the permanent status agreement, define the framework and modalities of the negotiations and then establish working groups as required.
The steering negotiation group will meet periodically, both formally and informally, at such times and places as agreed by the two sides with the aim of advancing the negotiations in the most effective manner.
Israel and the PLO agreed that the negotiations on permanent status between them will be conducted on the basis of Article V of the Declaration of Principles, which reads as follows:
TRANSITIONAL PERIOD AND PERMANENT STATUS NEGOTIATIONS
2. Permanent status negotiations will commence as soon as possible, but not later than the beginning of the third year of the interim period, between the Government of Israel and the Palestinian people representatives.
3. It is understood that these negotiations shall cover remaining issues, including: Jerusalem, refugees, settlements, security arrangements, borders, relations and cooperation with other neighbors and other issues of common interest.
4. The two parties agree that the outcome of the permanent status negotiations should not be prejudiced or preempted by agreements reached for the interim period.
Both sides agreed to expedite their common work in the People to People program, as initiated by the Government of Norway.
Both sides decided to expedite the work of their various committees in order to ensure coordination in the full implementation of the Interim Agreement.