291. U.S. Paper1


Agreements on a final settlement, termination of the state of belligerency and the establishment of peace between Egypt and Israel, Jordan and Israel, Syria and Israel will be governed by the following principles:

a. All signers of the agreements will accept obligations to end the state of belligerency and to establish peace among them.

b. The agreements will contain arrangements for the withdrawal of Israeli troops from Arab territories occupied in 1967.

c. Arrangements for securing the borders will include the establishment of demilitarized zones and security zones and the participation of military units of the signatories in a UN force.

d. The agreements and the security arrangements will assure freedom of navigation for ships of all nations, including Israel, through the Suez Canal and the Straits of Tiran.

e. Completion of these arrangements will at some stage involve negotiations among the potential signers of the agreement.

1. The withdrawal of the Israeli troops and boundaries

Israel shall withdraw her troops from Arab territories occupied in 1967 within an agreed period after the signature of the agreements. Withdrawal will take place in agreed stages. Flexibility will be permitted for negotiated changes in borders where those changes enhance agreed security arrangements.

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The withdrawal of Israeli troops from occupied territories will be carried out under the supervision of UN military observers.

2. Termination of the state of belligerency and the establishment of peace

The sides in the conflict will agree to terminate the state of belligerency between them and assume the following concrete obligations with respect to the establishment of peace:

to respect and to recognize the sovereignty, territorial integrity, inviolability and political independence of one another, their mutual right to live in peace without being subjected to threats or use of force or to intervention in their domestic affairs by other nations;

to undertake all in their power so that no military or other hostile acts or the use or threat of force against the other side should originate in or be committed from their territories;

to agree on the freedom of movement by people and commerce across international boundaries;

to settle differences peacefully.

3. The Suez Canal

In the agreement on the final settlement between Egypt and Israel, Egypt will assume obligation, in exercising its sovereignty over the Suez Canal, to ensure freedom of navigation through the Canal for vessels of all states without discrimination, including Israel. That freedom would not be denied under any circumstances except the outbreak of war between Egypt and Israel.

Israeli ships will begin to exercise their right to passage through the Suez Canal upon the opening of the Canal.

In order to resume at an early date the use of the Suez Canal for international shipping and as a practical step which could either be an integral part of general settlement or an agreed step in advance of a final agreement, Egypt and Israel will agree on the implementation of certain measures which will envisage:

a) an obligation by Israel to withdraw her forces from the Suez Canal within a month (tentatively) after reaching agreement on these measures to the distance of . . . kilometers from the Suez Canal;2

b) restoration of Egyptian administration and control in the territory to be vacated by Israel and movement across the Suez Canal of Egyptian personnel agreed to be necessary for the exercise of civil authority and security in the area of the Canal consistent with whatever demilitarization arrangements may be agreed;

c) an obligation by Egypt to take measures for the speediest clearing and reopening of the Suez Canal.

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4. The Gulf of Aqaba and the Straits of Tiran

The Egyptian-Israeli agreement shall envisage an obligation by Egypt to observe the principle of freedom of navigation through the Straits of Tiran and in the Gulf of Aqaba for vessels of all countries, including Israel. It will also provide for stationing of UN military personnel, including Israeli units, at Sharm El Sheikh and at such other places as may be agreed. The need for the UN post will be reviewed at agreed intervals; it will be removed only by agreement of the signatories to the agreement and of the UN Security Council.

5. Gaza

The Gaza strip shall be placed under a transitional administration endorsed by the UN Security Council with the participation of Gazan, Jordanian, Israeli and UN personnel pending a final agreement on the disposition of Gaza. The transitional period would continue until the refugees in Gaza had been resettled and the residual population had decided its own future. A referendum shall take place in Gaza under the United Nations observation five years after refugee resettlement from Gaza is complete so that its population could decide the destiny of this territory. In the period after the withdrawal of Israeli troops until Gaza’s final status has been defined security would be provided by a United Nations military unit manned by personnel of the UN and by participants in the transitional administration stationed in Gaza.

6. Jerusalem

Jerusalem shall remain a unified city. Jordan shall have a role there, including the administration of the Islamic shrines. The walled city and adjacent shrines shall be demilitarized and freedom of access to the Holy places of all religions shall be ensured by Jordan and Israel. Arrangements shall be negotiated between Jordan and Israel.

7. Demilitarized and Security Zones

The agreements shall establish two types of zones. There will be demilitarized zones in which the nature and level of forces and equipment will be limited by agreement. There will also be security zones in which each side will have special rights to station troops, patrol, and maintain facilities. The number, location and size of such zones will be subject to agreement between the sides. The regime of such zones will only contain limitations of a purely military nature.

A UN force with personnel assigned by the UN and by the parties to the agreement will be stationed in the demilitarized zones and in the security zones.

8. Troops and military observers of the United Nations

On the decision of the Security Council and by consent of the signatories to the agreement small contingents of forces and military observers of the United Nations will be formed for agreed periods and [Page 1008] subject to removal only by agreement of the signatories and approval of the Security Council.

These forces and groups of military observers will be formed from among the military personnel of member states of the United Nations to be determined by the Security Council, including units of the signatories of the agreement and taking into account the opinion of the states in whose territories these contingents or observers will be stationed. The extension of the stationing of these contingents and observers after the expiry of the initial period (5 years tentatively) will be decided by the signatories of the agreement and by the Security Council.

9. International assurances

The security of Israel and the neighboring Arab states and, in particular, the boundaries between them established in the agreements on the settlement, shall be assured by the Security Council and the great powers.

Such assurances will legally enter into force after signing of the peace agreements. Corresponding obligations on this score shall be taken by the signatories.

10. The Palestine problem and ensuring the just rights of the refugees

In the interests of establishing a just and lasting peace in the Middle East the signatories agree to make efforts for the settlement of the Palestine refugee problem.

In the agreements on the settlement the signatories will express their consent that Palestine refugees will exercise on an individual basis by means of a poll the choice between repatriation to Israel and resettling with compensation on the Western Bank of the Jordan river, in the Gaza strip, other Arab countries or elsewhere.

Israel shall assume an obligation on annual quotas of refugees whom she will admit as well as on the amount of compensation for the property of the Palestine refugees left in her territory.

The implementation of all other parts of the agreements on the final settlement shall not be delayed until practical measures for solving the refugee problem are completed.

11. Cease-fire

For the purpose of providing more favorable conditions for the speediest settlement in the Middle East the sides in the conflict shall agree at the beginning of negotiations to continue observing the cease-fire through the negotiations until those negotiations result in an agreement which will replace the cease-fire with a permanent peace.

12. On the entry into force of the agreements on the final settlement

The agreements on the final settlement would become effective through their approval by signature of the parties and by the Security [Page 1009] Council. The signatories will act in accordance with the obligations contained in the agreements from the moment of their signature.

13. A Negotiating Process

Any reasonable channel of negotiation, secret or public, may be used, and several complementary channels may be used simultaneously. Whatever the channel, it is important that the principal elements and details in the agreements be agreed in exchanges among the signatories. The US and USSR will support these exchanges.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 73, Country Files, Europe, USSR. No classification marking. “Handed to Brezhnev by President May 26” is handwritten at the top of the first page. After Nixon handed the paper to Brezhnev, Kissinger noted that it was a counterproposal to a proposal that Brezhnev gave to him in Moscow on April 22. For memoranda of conversation of the April 22 and May 26 meetings, see Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume XIV, Soviet Union, October 1971–May 1972, Documents 141 and 284. The paper is based on a draft written by Saunders, which was in turn based on Saunders’s critique of the Soviet proposal. (Memorandum from Saunders to Kissinger, May 19; National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 482, President’s Trip Files, Middle East Negotiations, Dr. Kissinger, May 19, 1972, Part I) Other meetings at which the Middle East was discussed during the summit include those between Kissinger and Gromyko during the afternoon and evening of May 28, both of which are printed in Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume XIV, Soviet Union, October 1971–May 1972, Documents 292, 293, and 295.
  2. Omission in the original.