Oslo Accords

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The Oslo Accords, officially called the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements[1] or Declaration of Principles (DOP) was a milestone in the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict, one of the major continuing issues within the wider Arab-Israeli conflict. It was the first direct, face-to-face agreement between the government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). It was intended to be the one framework for future negotiations and relations between the Israeli government and Palestinians, within which all outstanding "final status issues" between the two sides would be addressed and resolved.

Negotiations concerning the agreements, an outgrowth of the Madrid Conference of 1991, were conducted secretly in Oslo, Norway, hosted by the Fafo institute, and completed on 20 August 1993; the Accords were subsequently officially signed at a public ceremony in Washington, DC on 13 September 1993, in the presence of PLO chairman Yasser Arafat, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and US President Bill Clinton. The documents themselves were signed by Mahmoud Abbas for the PLO, foreign Minister Shimon Peres for Israel, Secretary of State Warren Christopher for the United States and foreign minister Andrei Kozyrev for Russia.

The Oslo Accords were a framework for the future relations between the two parties. The Accords provided for the creation of a Palestinian National Authority (PNA). The Palestinian Authority would have responsibility for the administration of the territory under its control. The Accords also called for the withdrawal of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) from parts of the Gaza Strip and West Bank.

It was anticipated that this arrangement would last for a five-year interim period during which a permanent agreement would be negotiated (beginning no later than May 1996). Permanent issues such as positions on Jerusalem, Palestinian refugees, Israeli settlements, security and borders were deliberately left to be decided at a later stage. Interim Palestinian self-government was to be granted by Israel in phases.

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