Last updated on: 6/25/2008 1:38:00 PM PST

How Did the 1967 Khartoum Summit of the Arab States Affect Arab-Israeli Relations?

General Reference (not clearly pro or con)
In the Khartoum Resolution, drafted by eight Arab heads of state who met in Khartoum (Sudan) between Aug. 29 and Sep. 1, 1967, the third resolution stated:

"3. The Arab Heads of State have agreed to unite their political efforts at the international and diplomatic level to eliminate the effects of the aggression and to ensure the withdrawal of the aggressive Israeli forces from the Arab lands which have been occupied since the aggression of June 5. This will be done within the framework of the main principles by which the Arab States abide, namely, no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with it, and insistence on the rights of the Palestinian people in their own country."

Sep. 1, 1967 - 1967 Khartoum Resolutions (10 KB)  

Avi Shlaim, PhD, Professor of International Relations at St. Antony's College, Oxford, in his 2001 book The Iron Wall, wrote:

"An Arab summit conference was held in Khartoum, the Sudanese capital, between 28 August and 2 September [1967]. It was the first meeting of the Arab leaders since their defeat in the June War. Israel's leaders watched with keen anticipation to see what conclusions the Arab leaders would draw from their military defeat. The conference ended with the adoption of the famous three noes of Khartoum: no recognition, no negotiation, and no peace with Israel... In fact, the conference was a victory for the Arab moderates who argued for trying to obtain the withdrawal of Israel's forces by political rather than military means... The Khartoum summit thus marked a real turning point in [Egyptian President] Nasser's attitude to Israel. At Khartoum, Nasser advised, and indeed urged, King Hussein [of Jordan] to explore the possibility of a peaceful settlement with Israel."

2001 - Avi Shlaim, PhD 

King Hussein bin Talal, the late King of Jordan, was quoted in the 2001 book, The Iron Wall by Avi Shlaim:

"At Khartoum I fought very much against the three noes. But the atmosphere there developed into one where all the people who used to support Nasser...turned on him and turned on him in such a vicious way that I found myself morally unable to continue to take any stand but to come closer to him and defend him and accuse them of responsibility in things that happened. That was the first collision I had with many of my friends in the Arab world.

But then we talked about the need for a resolution and the need for a peaceful solution to the problem. And his approach was that 'I feel responsible. We lost the West Bank and Gaza and that comes first. I am not going to ask for any withdrawal from the Suez Canal. It can stay closed forever until such time as the issue of the West Bank and of Gaza is resolved and the issue of the Palestinian people is resolved. So go and speak of that and speak of a comprehensive solution to the problem and a comprehensive peace and go and do anything that you can short of signing a separate peace.' And I said in any event I am not considering signing a seperate peace, because we want to resolve this problem in a comprehensive fashion."

2001 - Avi Shlaim, PhD 
Hussein bin Talal 

Michael B. Oren, PhD, Senior Fellow at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem, in his 2003 book Six Days of War, wrote:

"Western observers would later debate whether Khartoum was a victory for Arab moderation or radicalism. True, it vetoed any interaction with Israel, but it appeared to open doors to third-party arbitration and the demilitarization of the occupied territories. [King] Hussein [of Jordan] claimed the conference had Arab extremists 'put on ice'... Yet, when presented with a Yugoslavian scheme in which Israel would vacate Sinai in return for guarantees of free passage, [Egyptian President] Nasser turned his back. He reminded his ministers that 'our primary intention is to continue to pursue the political solution road in order to gain time for military preparation and to persuade the Soviets to supply us with all the weapons we need.'"

2003 - Michael B. Oren, PhD 

Hassan Nafaa, Professor of Political Science at Cairo University, wrote the following in an Apr. 6-12, 2006 Al-Ahram Weekly online article:

"When the Arab rulers headed to Khartoum in 1967 they were painfully conscious of their recent military defeat by Israel. They realised as well, however, that the political will of their peoples had not been broken. The most tangible evidence of this was the spontaneous mass demonstrations in Egypt on 9 and 10 June of 1967. The people refused to acknowledge defeat and urged the late Egyptian president Gamal Abdel-Nasser to retract his decision to step down. The demonstrations were echoed in November of the same year when another similar demonstration welcomed Nasser in Khartoum, again urging him to remain steadfast against the enemy. Had it not been for these two momentous outpourings of popular feeling, the 1967 Khartoum summit would not have proclaimed its famous 'no's', and the Arab oil-producing states would not have agreed to the provision of enormous amounts of financial support to the frontline nations with Israel. The aim was to compensate them for their losses sustained in the war and help them with reconstruction and the re-building of their defeated armies.

It may be fairly said that Khartoum 1967 established the cornerstone for a comprehensive and substantive strategy for standing up to Israel. The three resolutions, combined with material support for the frontline nations enabled the Arabs to gradually regain the initiative. This was embodied in the three- year War of Attrition on the Egyptian front, followed by the full-scale coordinated assault against Israel on it, and the Syrian front in October 1973. These endeavours were effectively backed by one of the most important tactical moves in contemporary Arab history, that of resorting to oil as a political weapon in the battle. Because of the resolutions of the first Khartoum summit, the Arab world succeeded in overcoming the effects of the 1967 defeat in the span of only six years, emerging from the experience much stronger than it had previously been. Some commentators went so far as to predict that the Arab world was poised to become the world's sixth most powerful force, after the five permanent members of the Security Council."

Apr. 6-12, 2006 - Hassan Nafaa