President Ronald Reagan's
Talking Points Sent to Prime Minister Menachem Begin
31 August, 1982
[The talking points accompanied a letter sent by President Reagan to Prime Minister Menachem Begin of Israel. The same points were presented to Arab governments.]
A. We will maintain our commitment to Camp David.
B. We will maintain our commitment to the conditions we require for recognition of and negotiation with the PLO.
C. We can offer guarantees on the position we will adopt in negotiations. We will not be able, however, to guarantee in advance the results of these negotiations.
A. Our position is that the objective of the transitional period is the peaceful and orderly transfer of authority from Israel to the Palestinian inhabitants.
B. We will support:
-The decision of full autonomy as giving the Palestinian inhabitants real authority over themselves, the land and its resources, subject to fair safeguards on water.
-Economic, commercial, social and cultural ties between the West Bank, Gaza and Jordan.
-Participation by the Palestinian inhabitants of East Jerusalem in the election of the West Bank-Gaza authority.
-Real settlements freeze.
-Progressive Palestinian responsibility for internal security based on capability and performance.
C. We will oppose:
-Dismantlement of the existing settlements.
-Provisions which represent a legitimate threat to Israel's security, reasonably defined.
-Isolation of the West Bank and Gaza from Israel.
-Measures which accord either the Palestinians or the Israelis generally recognized sovereign rights with the exception of external security, which must remain in Israel's hands during the transitional period.
FINAL STATUS ISSUES
A. UNSC Resolution 242
It is our position that Resolution 242 applies to the West Bank and Gaza and requires Israeli withdrawal in return for peace. Negotiations must determine the borders. The U.S. position in these negotiations on the extent of the withdrawal will be significantly influenced by the extent and nature of the peace and security arrangements offered in return.
B. Israeli Sovereignty
It is our belief that the Palestinian problem cannot be resolved (through) Israeli sovereignty or control over the West Bank and Gaza. Accordingly, we will not support such a solution.
C. Palestinian State
The preference we will pursue in the final status negotiation is association of the West Bank and Gaza with Jordan. We will not support the formation of a Palestinian state in those negotiations. There is no foundation of political support in Israel or the United States for such a solution. The outcome, however, must be determined by negotiations.
In the Middle East context the term self-determination has been identified exclusively with the formation of a Palestinian state. We will not support this definition of self-determination. We believe that the Palestinians must take the leading role in determining their own future and fully support the provision in Camp David providing for the elected representatives of the inhabitants of the West Bank and Gaza to decide how they shall govern themselves consistent with the provision of their agreement in the final status negotiations.
We will fully support the position that the status of Jerusalem must be determined through negotiations.
The status of Israeli settlements must be determined in the course of the final status negotiations. We will not support their continuation as extraterritorial outposts.
ADDITIONAL TALKING POINTS
1. Approach to Hussein
-The President has approached Hussein to determine the extent to which he may be interested in participating.
-King Hussein has received the same U.S. positions as you.
-Hussein considers our proposals serious and gives them serious attention.
-Hussein understands that Camp David is the only base that we will accept for negotiations.
-We are also discussing these proposals with the Saudis.
2. Public Commitment
-Whatever the support from these or other Arab States, this is what the President has concluded must be done.
-The President is convinced his positions are fair and balanced and fully protective of Israel's security. Beyond that they offer the practical opportunity of eventually achieving the peace treaties Israel must have with its neighbors.
-He will be making a speech announcing these positions, probably within a week.
3. Next Procedural Steps
-Should the response to the President's proposal be positive, the U.S. would take immediate steps to relaunch the autonomy negotiations with the broadest possible participation as envisaged under the Camp David agreements.
-We also contemplate an early visit by Secretary Shultz in the area.
-Should there not be a positive response, the President, as he has said in his letter to you, will nonetheless stand by his position with proper dedication.
Source: The New York Times, September 9, 1982.