1996 Public Statement

Communiqué issued by tripartite Arab Summit
Syrian President Hafez Al-Assad, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, and Crown Prince Abdullah, Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard, today issued the following communiqué at the end of their two-day tripartite summit meeting in Damascus.

"At the kind invitation extended by His Excellency President Hafez Al-Assad of the Syrian Arab Republic, to His Excellency President Hosni Mubarak of the Arab Republic of Egypt, and to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, who delegated His Royal Highness the Crown Prince Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard, the three leaders held meetings in Damascus on June 7 and 8, 1996.

"Out of their faith in the common fate of the Arab Nation, the feelings of mutual responsibility towards that Nation, and the profound role being undertaken by the three countries for the preservation of their vital interests, and on the basis of the fraternal bonds between their states, the three leaders reviewed the Arab situation, bearing in mind the Alexandria Declaration. They reviewed the future of the peace process in the light of the political circumstances of the regional and international arenas and the latest developments in the area, with a spirit of responsibility and a sincere desire to exert the utmost effort and enroll all possible energies to mobilize the Arab Nation, to close its ranks, take care of its interests, and restore its usurped rights.

"The three leaders confirmed the determination of their countries to realize comprehensive and just peace as a strategic option; this requires that Israel should also seriously adhere to it, since any retreat from what has been achieved is totally unacceptable. The leaders agreed that any retreat from the principles on which the peace process was established or any withdrawal from the obligations and commitments previously reached, or any delay in their implementation, would put Israel in confrontation with the international community and would also constitute a real threat of a return in the region to the dilemma of tension and violence for which Israel would be fully to blame.

"The three leaders stressed that the only way to realize peace requires full Israeli withdrawal from all occupied Arab territories, including the Golan Heights to the lines existing before June 4, 1967, the southern part of Lebanon, and the occupied Palestinian lands, foremost among them Al-Quds [Jerusalem], in compliance with Security Council Resolutions 242, 338 and 425, and the concept of land-for-peace; and it also requires that the Palestinian people are able to practice their legitimate rights including that of self-determination and the establishment of an independent state on its national soil.

"In this context, the three leaders called on the international community, especially the two sponsors of the peace process, to continue to back that peace process, pushing it ahead towards the realization of the stated objectives. They expressed confidence that the Arab Nation, with solidarity and a unified stand, would be able to defend its legitimate rights against any position triggered by the continuation of the Israeli occupation of Arab lands or by the settlement policy which is regarded as defiance of the will of the international community.

"The three leaders demanded anew that a zone free from weapons of mass destruction, especially nuclear arms, be set up in the Middle East, and they underscored the necessity for Israel to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and subject its nuclear facilities to international inspection in line with the guarantees provided by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

"The three leaders, reviewing the situation in the Arab arena, resolved to go ahead with all efforts to close ranks and re-build Arab solidarity in the framework of firm commitment to the Charter of the League of Arab States, the Arab Charters for maintaining joint national security, and protection of the best interest of the Arab Nation according to international law. In order to realize this goal, the three leaders agreed that an Arab summit conference be convened in Cairo on June 21 to 23, 1996, and that President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt would extend invitations to the Arab leaders.

"The three leaders expressed the solidarity of their countries with their sister state of Bahrain in its efforts to realize security and stability in face of disorder, subversive acts and foreign interference. They also expressed the hope that Turkey would adopt a policy that would be in harmony with good neighborliness, mutual interest, and respect for the interests of the Arabs, and in this context, expressed concern over the recent Turkish/Israeli agreement, calling on Turkey to reconsider it.

"While looking forward to their next meeting to continue the march of political coordination and cooperation among the three countries, the leaders expressed their thanks to His Excellency President Hafez Al-Assad for his reception and accommodation of the tripartite summit."