Twelfth Arab Summit, Resolution on Palestine, Fez, Morocco, September 1982
The Twelfth Arab Summit Conference was convened in Fez, Morocco, in November 1981, but quickly adjourned and reconvened a year later, in September 1982.
The Saudi government introduced a peace plan spearheaded by Crown Prince Fahd and loosely based on Security Council Resolution 242. While it stopped short of calling for normalization or peace with Israel, it put the Arab League on record for the first time demanding Israeli withdrawal from the territories it had occupied in 1967, rather than insisting on Israel’s dismantlement.
The background of the plan was the crisis caused in the Arab world when Egypt agreed to make peace with Israel. The Arab countries divided into a “refusal front” headed by Syria, and a more moderate camp led by Crown Prince Fahd, King Hassan II of Morocco and King Hussein of Jordan.
Given the turmoil that had followed the assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in October, the conference was unable to conclude its work and adjourned. It reconvened only a year later in September 1982.
In the interim, Israel invaded Lebanon. In September 1982 the PLO was forced to evacuate Beirut. The United States government now mounted its own peace initiative, as presented by President Reagan in September 1982, and was urging the Saudis to propose a moderate plan that would make room for Arab recognition of Israel. The Arab summit reconvening Fez, tried to satisfy the conflicting goals of reuniting the Arabs, providing support for the Palestinians and placating the Americans. It was not particularly satisfactory to anyone, though it subsequently won praise from James Baker and others.
The Twelfth Arab Summit Conference was convened in the city of Fez, Morocco, on 27 Muharram 1402 A.H., corresponding to 25 November 1981 A.D.
After suspension, it resumed for the period from 17 to 20 Zu’lga’dah 1402 A.H., corresponding to 6 to 9 September 1982 A.D., under the presidency of His Majesty King Hassan II, King of the Kingdom of Morocco.
All the Arab States participated in the work of the Conference, with the exception of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.
In view of the grave and delicate circumstances through which the Arab nation is passing and inspired by awareness of historic national responsibility, Their Majesties, Their Excellencies and Their Highnesses, the Kings, Presidents and Amirs of the Arab States examined the important questions before the Conference and took the following decisions.
I. The Arab-Israeli conflict
The Conference paid a tribute to the resistance of the forces of the Palestinian revolution, the Lebanese and Palestinian peoples and the Syrian Arab armed forces, and declared its support for the Palestinian people in their struggle for the restoration of their inalienable national rights.
Convinced of the ability of the Arab nation to achieve its legitimate objectives and to put an end to the aggression, on the basis of the fundamental principles laid down by the Arab Summit Conferences, in view of the desire of the Arab States to continue to strive by every means for the achievement of peace based on justice in the Middle East region, taking account of the plan of His Excellency President Habib Bourguiba, which holds international legality to be the basis for the solution of the Palestinian question, and of the plan of His Majesty King Fahd Ibn Abdul Aziz for peace in the Middle East and in the light of the discussions and observations of Their Majesties, Their Excellencies and Their Highnesses, the Kings, Presidents and Amirs, the Conference adopted the following principles:
1. The withdrawal of Israel from all the Arab territories occupied by it in 1967, including Arab Jerusalem;
2. The dismantling of the settlements established by Israel in the Arab territories since 1967;
3. The guaranteeing of freedom of worship and performance of religious rites for all religions in the Holy Places;
4. The reaffirmation of the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and to the exercise of their inalienable and imprescriptible national rights, under the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization, their sole and legitimate representative, and the indemnification of those who do not desire to return;
6. The establishment of an independent Palestinian State with Jerusalem as its capital;
7. The establishment by the United Nations Security Council of guarantees of peace between all States of the region, including the independent Palestinian State;
8. The guaranteeing by the Security Council of the implementation of these principles.