US Letters of Assurances on the Terms of the Peace Conference, Washington, October 1991

Letters of Assurances (LOSs) were issued to each party to the Conference by the United Sates in mid-October 1991. The following are several of the main points of the US Letter of Assurance to the Palestinian Side:

  • Palestinian and Israelis must respect each other’s security, identity and political rights.
  • We believe that the Palestinians should gain control over political, economic and other decisions that affect them and their fate
  • The US will seek to avoid any prolongation and stalling by any party. All negotiations should proceed as quickly as possible toward agreement.
  • The U.S. is opposed to Israeli annexation of East Jerusalem and extension of Israeli law on it and the extension of Jerusalem’s municipal boundaries. We encourage all sides to avoid unilateral acts that would exasperate local tensions or make negotiations more difficult or preempt their final outcome
  • The US supports the right of Palestinians to bring any issue including East Jerusalem to the table
  • The purpose of negotiations transitional issues is to effect the peaceful and orderly transfer of authority from Israel to Palestinians. Palestinians need to achieve rapid control over political, economic, and other decisions that effect their lives and to adjust to a new situation in which Palestinians exercise authority in the West Bank and Gaza.
  • Once agreed the interim self-governing arrangements will last for a period of five years. Beginning the third year of the period of self-governing arrangements, negotiations will take place on permanent status. It is the aim of the U.S. government that permanent status negotiations will be concluded by the end of the transitional period.
  • The US believes that no party should take unilateral actions that seek to predetermine issues that can only be reached through negotiations. In this regard the U.S. has opposed and will continue to oppose settlement activity in the territories occupied in 1967 which remain an obstacle to peace.