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Historic Documents

Historic Documents relating to the Middle East.

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638 Covenant of Omar Omar's promise to the Jews, after conquering Jerusalem in 637 AD Covenant of Omar
1915 McMahon-Hussein Correspondence Letters between the British representative and Sharif Hussein, leader of the Hashemites, regarding British support for an independent Arab state.
1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement Secret document between Britain and France regarding how Greater Syria was to be divided after the war.
1917 Balfour Agreement Letter from Arthur Balfour clarifying the British government's position regarding the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine.
1919 Agreement between Emir Feisal & Dr. Weizmann Document of agreement regarding the presence of a Jewish state in Palestine.
1919 League of Nations Mandate The Mandate document, providing Britain with the outline of its authority over Palestine.
1919 King-Crane Commission report A suppressed report, originally produced for the US president which gave recommendations for the administration of Palestine.
1922 Churchill White Paper A British document that puts forward policy toward dealing with Arabs & Jews in British Mandate Palestine.
1922 Palestine Mandate The League of Nations mandate for British administration of Palestine.
1937 Peel Commission Plans presented by the British Peel Commission to partition Palestine, in consequence of the increased immigration and ensuing violence.
1939 White Paper The British White Paper made recommendations for restriction of immigration, and affirmed its position regarding protection of the rights of Arabs living in the territory.
1948 Plan Daleth As the Jews anticipated the British departure from Palestine, Plan Daleth delineated Haganah's military preparations for occupation of the land. (This document is located on the MidEastWeb organization's documents pages. Their introductions to these documents provide a helpful introduction.)
1967 UN Security Council Resolution 242 After the 6-Day war of June, 1967, UNSCR 242 lays out expectations for the return of the territory captured.
1973 UN Security Council Resolution 338 While Israel was still battling the combined attacks of Egypt and Syria, the UN issued UNSCR 338 calling on the participants to cease fighting and return to the status before the war. This and UNSCR 242 are frequently referred to as goals which future peace agreements should achieve (i.e. Israel leaving the West Bank and Golan).
1978 Camp David Peace Accords US President Jimmy Carter persuaded Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin to peace agreement duing the intensive sessions at Camp David. In the Framework the participants agree to negotiate in good faith. This was followed by a more specific Framework for Peace in which the various steps were laid out. A supporting document provides some of the correspondence between Rabin, Arafat and President Carter.
1979 Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty After Anwar Sadat's surprise overture to Israel, this Peace Treaty was the result.
1989 Taif Accords At the end of the long-running civil war in Lebanon, the parties met in Taif, Saudi Arabia, to negotiate an agreement which would conclude the conflict. The Taif Accords was the result, also outlining the role of the military and the balance of power between the major Lebanese sects.
1993 Declaration of Principles Mahmoud Abbas and Shimon Peres signed this Declaration of Principles. which was part of a long-running process involving discussions between Israel and the PLO in Oslo. It was this agreement that allowed for the setting up of the Palestinian National Authority.
1998 Wye River Memorandum During Ehud Barak's tenure as PM of Israel the USA attempted to mediate a reslution to te Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The discussions that led to the Wye River Memorandum were also attended by King Hussein of Jordan, who was in the US undergoing cancer treatment at the time.
2000 Trilateral Statement President Clinton attempted to wrest a peace agreement from Barak and Arafat in the middle of 2000. This was unsuccessful, but produced a short 'Trilateral Statement' in which Israel and the Palestinian leader made broad statements on their willingness to negotiate.
2001 Taba Talks After the discussions between Israel and the Palestinians at Taba, Egypt, an EU group prepared a summary paper which summarized the progress made, and the consequences. It includes some criticism of the negotiations, because ambiguity in some of the statements hid wider disagreements between the participants.
2001 Mitchell Report The efforts of US senator George Mitchell marked a new approach to developing a peace initiative in Israel. In the Mitchell Report both parties, the Palestinians and Israel, were criticized for specific ways in which they were seen to have impeded peace. Also, the report delineated step-by-step actions that Israel and the PNA should take towards building confidence in the process.
2001 The Tenet Plan Following the failure of the Mitchell Report to be implement, CIA director George Tenet visit the region and proposed the Tenet Plan which aimed to get the two sides back on track for peace. The week without violence that it called for, however, did not happen, and Israel's incursion into Gaza meant that the Palestinians refused to negotiate until the military had withdrawn.
2002 The Arab Peace Initiative During the Arab Summit in Beirut, which was not a great success, Saudi Arabia proposed recognition of Israel once a peace agreement could be made based on UN resolutions 194, 242 and 338. This Arab Peace Initiative was a novel approach, coming from a state that had been previously been relatively silent on the issue.
2002 The Quartet - Statement The Quartet involved in developing a peace process included representatives from the USA, Europe, Russia and the UN. This statement outlines their goals, one of a series of documents leading to the Road Map of May, 2003.
2003 The Road Map Following on from the Mitchell Report, the work of the Quartet was to produce a plan which would move the parties towards a peace agreement. The Road Map is probably the most talked about of all plans for Middle East peace, and one which has seen the most frustration, but which is still talked about as the basis for a successful peace.
2003 Israel's Response to the Road Map While expressing general approval of the Road Map, Israel had reservations as to its implementation. These were outlined in this Response, which was more than just a concern for minor points of the plan.
2003 Geneva Accord The Draft Permanent Status Agreement document, known as the Geneva Accordwas put together by an independent group of Israeli and Arab intellectuals. It attracted some debate, but mostly criticism.
2005 Iraq Constitution (Oct 2005) A translation of the draft constitution, sent to a referendum on October 15th, 2005.
2005 The Mehlis Report (Oct 2005) The preliminary report, into the Feb.14th, 2005, death of Rafik Hariri. Issued on October 21, 2005.
2006 UN Security Council Resolution 1701 (Lebanon) Issued in August 2006, during Israel's fight against Hezbollah in Lebanon UNSCR 1701 calls for "a full cessation of hostililties" by Hezbollah and Israel. It also calls upon the secretary-general of the UN to provide a plan for the delineation of borders at Shebaa Farms, and allows for the provision of 15,000 new troops for the UNIFL force already there to monitor the truce and protect itself as necessary.
2006 Ahmedinejad's letter to George Bush This unusual letter from Iran's President Ahmedinejad caused quite a sensation. Written directly to George Bush the letter questions the US president on the conflict between his religious beliefs and the actions the US has taken in Iran and elsewhere in the region.
2007 Ahmedinejad Speech at Columbia Columbia's invitation to Iran's President Ahmedinejad was widely criticized. The speech was followed by some questions made to the president by students.