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On this day: Letters of recognition

September 9 1993: Steps towards peace

    In 1993 Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) finally reached agreement over the distribution of land with the Oslo Accords, fully named the "Declaration of Principles on Interim Self Government Arrangements".

    This was the initial stage in the first direct attempts between the organisations to solve the ongoing Arab-Israeli conflict.

    The letters, agreed in Oslo, stated that Israel would now have the right to exist as a secure state with "peace and security" and also there would be preliminary acceptance of the division of land into territories in Gaza and the West Bank.

    Moreover, both sides committed themselves to the peace process, hoping to eventually permanently solve all issues.

    The Palestinian letter also said that "Accordingly, the PLO renounces the use of terrorism and other acts of violence and will assume responsibility over all PLO elements and personnel in order to assure their compliance prevent violations and discipline violators"

    The Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin, responded and agreed with this letter. There was then a ceremony in Washington with the President at the time - Bill Clinton, Yasser Arafat and Rabin.

    The Oslo Accords were a move towards peace, made against the backdrop of the end of the Cold War.

    What the JC said:The milestone draft accord between the government of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Yasir Arafat's PLO is, of course, only a beginning. Even if the final textual details are satisfactorily resolved, Mr Rabin faces public anger at home over an accord denounced by its opponents as a formula for Israel's destruction. Still, it is an immensely important beginning…it represents an opportunity to put in place a process whereby peace, though by no means assured, is at least possible

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