Men from the Soviet Union, the United States, Israel, and the PLO stand on the steps of the Madrid Middle East Peace Conference

October 30, 1991

The Soviet Union and the United States convene the Madrid Middle East Peace Conference, based upon a two track approach of bi-lateral and multi-lateral talks.

All Arab states contiguous to Israel, Palestinians from the territories of the West Bank and Gaza (but not east Jerusalem) and the Gulf Cooperation Council representatives participate in a three-day conference. It was the first time that Israeli and PLO negotiators came together.

At Madrid and afterwards, the Palestinians capture media attention with moderate tones. Palestinians in the territories have high expectations that the negotiating process will provide significant political and economic substance to the Palestinians in a short span of time. Israel continues to build settlements in the face of the negotiating process. Contacts from the Madrid Middle East Peace Conference lead to secret PLO-Israeli talks and ultimately to their signing of the September 1993 Oslo Accords.

Find more details at the Center for Israel Education

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