Aide-memoire presented to Israel and Egypt by Ambassador

Gunnar Jarring

8 February 1971

    I have been following with a mixture of restrained optimism and growing concern the resumed discussions under my auspices for the purpose of arriving at a peaceful settlement of the Middle East question.  My restrained optimism arises from the fact that in my view the parties are seriously devining their positions and wish to move forward to a permanent peace.  My growing concern is that each side unyieldingly insists that the other make certain commitments before being ready to proceed to the stage of formulating the provisions to be included in a final peace agreement. There is, as I see it, a serious risk that we shall find ourselves in the same deadlock that existed during the first three years of my mission.
    I therefore feel that I should at this stage make clear my views on what I believe to be the necessary steps to be taken in order to achieve a peaceful and accepted settlement in accordance with the provisions and principles of  Security Council resolution 242(1967), which the parties have agreed to carry out in all its parts.
    I have come to the conclusion that the only possibility to break the imminent deadlock arising from the differing views of Israel and the United Arab Republic as to the priority to be given to  commitments and undertakings- which seems to me to be the real cause of the present immobility- is for me to seek from each side the parallel and simultaneous commitments which seem to be inevitable prerequisites of an eventual peace settlement between them.  It should thereafter be possible to proceed at once to formulate the provisions and terms of a peace agreement not only for those topics covered by the commitments, but with equal priority for other topics, and in particular the refugee question.
    Specifically, I wish to request the Governments of Israel and the United Arab Republic to make to me at this stage the following prior commitments simultaneously and on condition that the other party makes its commitments and subject to the eventual satisfactory determination of all other aspects of a peace settlement, including in particular a just settlement of the refugee problem.


    Israel would give a commitment to withdraw its forces from occupied United Arab Republic territory to the former international boundary between Egypt and the British Mandate of  Palestine on the understanding that satisfactory arrangements are made for:
(a) Establishing demilitarized zones;
(b) Practical security arrangements in the Sharm el Sheikh area for guaranteeing freedom of navigation through the Straits of Tiran;
(c) Freedom of navigation through the Suez Canal,


    The United Arab Republic would give a commitment to enter into a peace agreement with Israel and to make explicitly therein to Israel, on a reciprocal basis , undertakings and acknowledgements covering the following subjects:
(a)  Termination of all claims or states of belligerency;
(b)  Respect for and acknowledgement of each otherís sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence.
(c)  Respect for and acknowledgement of each otherís right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries;
(d)  Responsibility to do all in their power to ensure that act of belligerency or hostility do not originate from or are not committed from within their respective territories  against the population, citizens or property of the other party;
(e)  Non-interference in each otherís domestic affairs.
    In making the above-mentioned suggestion I am conscious that I am requesting both sides to make serious commitments but I am convinced that the present situation requiers me to take this step.

UNO, The Origins and Evolution o the
Palestine Problem, Part II: 1947 - 1977,
Annex V
Source: Fraser, T. G. (ed), 1980. The Middle East, 1914-1979, Edward Arnold, London.