| LETTER OF INVITATION TO MADRID
October 30, 1991
The breakup of the Soviet Union and the Gulf War reshaped the basic
political order of the Middle East. In an attempt to take advantage of
this change, US Secretary of State James Baker made eight trips to the
region in the eight months following the Gulf War. The Madrid
Invitation, inviting Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and the
Palestinians to an opening conference represents the result of this
shuttle diplomacy. The invitation, an outcome of compromises by all
sides, details the structure of the Madrid process:
• An opening conference having no power to impose solutions
• Bilateral talks with the Arab states bordering Israel,
• Talks with the Palestinians on 5-year interim self-rule, to be
followed by talks on the permanent status
• Multilateral talks on key regional issues, like refugees.
The following is the complete text of the invitation to the Madrid
Peace Conference on October 30, 1991, jointly issued by the U.S. and
the Soviet Union:
After extensive consultations with Arab states, Israel and the
Palestinians, the United States and the Soviet Union believe that an
historic opportunity exists to advance the prospects for genuine peace
throughout the region. The United States and the Soviet Union are
prepared to assist the parties to achieve a just, lasting and
comprehensive peace settlement, through direct negotiations along two
tracks, between Israel and the Arab states, and between Israel and the
Palestinians, based on United Nations Security Council Resolutions 242
and 338. The objective of this process is real peace.
Toward that end, the president of the U.S. and the president of the
USSR invite you to a peace conference, which their countries will
co-sponsor, followed immediately by direct negotiations. The
conference will be convened in Madrid on October 30, 1991.
President Bush and President Gorbachev request your acceptance of this
invitation no later than 6 P.M. Washington time, October 23, 1991, in
order to ensure proper organization and preparation of the conference.
Direct bilateral negotiations will begin four days after the opening
of the conference. Those parties who wish to attend multilateral
negotiations will convene two weeks after the opening of the
conference to organize those negotiations. The co-sponsors believe
that those negotiations should focus on region-wide issues of water,
refugee issues, environment, economic development, and other subjects
of mutual interest.
The co-sponsors will chair the conference which will be held at
ministerial level. Governments to be invited include Israel, Syria,
Lebanon and Jordan. Palestinians will be invited and attend as part of
a joint Jordanian-Palestinian delegation. Egypt will be invited to the
conference as a participant. The European Community will be a
participant in the conference, alongside the United States and the
Soviet Union and will be represented by its presidency. The Gulf
Cooperation Council will be invited to send its secretary- general to
the conference as an observer, and GCC member states will be invited
to participate in organizing the negotiations on multilateral issues.
The United Nations will be invited to send an observer, representing
The conference will have no power to impose solutions on the parties
or veto agreements reached by them. It will have no authority to make
decisions for the parties and no ability to vote on issues of results.
The conference can reconvene only with the consent of all the parties.
With respect to negotiations between Israel and Palestinians who are
part of the joint Jordanian- Palestinian delegation, negotiations will
be conducted in phases, beginning with talks on interim self-
government arrangements. These talks will be conducted with the
objective of reaching agreement within one year. Once agreed, the
interim self-government arrangements will last for a period of five
years; beginning the third year of the period of interim
self-government arrangements, negotiations will take place on
permanent status. These permanent status negotiations, and the
negotiations between Israel and the Arab states, will take place on
the basis of Resolutions 242 and 338.
It is understood that the co-sponsors are committed to making this
process succeed. It is their intention to convene the conference and
negotiations with those parties who agree to attend.
The co-sponsors believe that this process offers the promise of ending
decades of confrontation and conflict and the hope of a lasting peace.
Thus, the co-sponsors hope that the parties will approach these
negotiations in a spirit of good will and mutual respect. In this way,
the peace process can begin to break down the mutual suspicions and
mistrust that perpetuate the conflict and allow the parties to begin
to resolve their differences. Indeed, only through such a process can
real peace and reconciliation among the Arab states, Israel and the
Palestinians be achieved. And only through this process can the
peoples of the Middle East attain the peace and security they richly