Last updated on: 6/26/2008 12:34:00 PM PST

What Was the Outcome of the 1991 Madrid Conference?



General Reference (not clearly pro or con)
Dilip Hiro, MA, author and journalist, in his 2003 book The Essential Middle East: A Comprehensive Guide, wrote:

"The Madrid conference was followed by bilateral talks between Israel and the three Arab parties [Syria, Lebanon, and a joint Jordanian-Palestinian delegation] held outside the Middle East. The bilateral negotiations between Israel and Jordan evolved into separate talks between the Israeli delegation and the Jordanian, and the Israeli delegation and the Palestinian, with the latter taking its orders from the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Secret negotiations between the PLO and Israel led to the 1993 Oslo Accord. Thirteen months later a Jordanian-Israeli Peace Treaty was signed [October 26, 1994]. Starting in 1994, talks between Israel and Syria were mediated by the United States, but those between Israel and Lebanon were put on hold, waiting for tangible progress on the Israeli-Syrian front in line with the 1991 Lebanese-Syrian Treaty of Brotherhood, Cooperation, and Coordination."

2003 - Dilip Hiro, MA 

Shibley Telhami, PhD, Anwar Sadat Chair for Peace and Development at the University of Maryland, in a 1999 The Middle East Journal article entitled "From Camp David to Wye: Changing Assumptions in Arab-Israeli Negotiations," wrote:

"As the United States organized the Madrid conference between Israel, on the one hand, and Lebanon, Syria and a Jordanian-Palestinian delegation on the other, both Arabs and Israelis held similar views of the American role in Middle East politics. Both sides came to the table with minimal immediate expectations... unlike Egypt in the 1970s, no Arab party believed it was in a position to compete with Israel for special relations with the United States.

[After] the Madrid Conference in 1991... Israeli and Arab views of the United States changed somewhat... Indeed, the PLO, which in the past saw Washington as the key to a deal with Israel, ultimately decided to negotiate directly with Israel in Oslo without the United States, partly because it did not believe it could get much out of the Clinton Administration."

1999 - Shibley Telhami, PhD 

The US Department of State, in its 1998 Background Notes for the State of Israel, released by the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, offered the following remarks on the Madrid Conference and its outcome:

"...In October 1991, the Presidents of the United States and the Soviet Union jointly convened an historic meeting in Madrid of Israeli, Lebanese, Jordanian, Syrian, and Palestinian leaders which became the foundation for ongoing bilateral and multilateral negotiations designed to bring lasting peace and economic development to the region...

...the declaration [of Principles] was a major conceptual breakthrough achieved under the Madrid framework. It established an ambitious set of objectives relating to a transfer of authority from Israel to an interim Palestinian authority."

1998 - United States Department of State