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Bestinlebanon.com | Lebanon Info | The May 17 Agreement

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The May 17 Agreement

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The May 17 Agreement
Signed May 17, 1983 

Following Operation Peace for Galilee, Israeli and Lebanese negotiators met to discuss a treaty between the two countries. The delegations held over 35 sessions alternatively in Khalde, Kiryat Shemona, and Netanya starting on 28 December 1982. The agreement was finally signed on 17 May 1983 following high-level US involvement including ten days of shuttle diplomacy by Secretary of State Shultz. The main features of the agreement include putting an end to the state of war between Israel and Lebanon, a mechanism for cooperation and the establishment of an Israeli consulate in Beirut. Although the agreement was signed it was never ratified due to strong violent Syrian opposition to the treaty.

Text  of the May 17, 1983, agreement 
between Lebanon and Israel

The Government of the State of Israel and the Government of the Republic of Lebanon: 

Bearing in mind the importance of maintaining and strengthening international peace based on freedom, equality, justice and respect for fundamental human rights; 

Reaffirming their faith in the aims and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and recognizing their right and obligation to live in peace with each other as well as with all states within secure and recognized boundaries; 

Having agreed to declare the termination of the state of war between them; 

Desiring to ensure lasting security for both their States and to avoid threats and the use of force between them; 

Desiring to establish their mutual relations in the manner provided for in this Agreement; 

Having delegated their undersigned representative plenipotentiaries provided with full powers in order to sign in the presence of the representative of the United States of America this Agreement; 

Have agreed to the following provisions: 

ARTICLE 1 

1. The Parties agree and undertake to respect the sovereignty political independence and territorial integrity of each other. They consider the existing international boundary between Israel and Lebanon inviolable. 

2. The Parties confirm that the state of war between Israel and Lebanon has been terminated and no longer exists. 

3. Taking into account the provisions of paragraphs 1 and 2 Israel undertakes to withdraw all its armed forces from Lebanon in accordance with the Annex of the present Agreement. 

ARTICLE 2 

The Parties being guided by the principles of the Charter of the United Nations and of international law undertake to settle their disputes by peaceful means in such a manner as to promote international peace and security and justice. 

ARTICLE 3 

In order to provide maximum security for Israel and Lebanon the Parties agree to establish and implement security arrangements including the creation of a Security Region as provided for in the Annex of the present Agreement. 

ARTICLE 4 

1. The territory of each Party will not be used as a base for hostile or terrorist activity against the other Party its territory or its people. 

2. Each Party will prevent the existence or organization of irregular forces armed bands organizations bases offices or infrastructure the aims and purposes of which include incursions or any act of terrorism into the territory of the other Party or any other activity aimed at threatening or endangering the security of the other Party and safety of its people. To this end all agreements and arrangements enabling the presence and functioning on the territory of either Party of elements hostile to the other Party are null and void. 

3. Without prejudice to the inherent right of self-defense in accordance with international law each Party will refrain: 

a. from organizing instigating assisting or participating in threats or acts of belligerency subversion or incitement or any aggression directed against the other Party its population or property both within its territory and originating therefrom or in the territory of the other Party. 

b. from using the territory of the other Party for conducting a military attack against the territory of a third state. 

c. from intervening in the internal or external affairs of the other Party. 

4. Each Party undertakes to ensure that preventive action and due proceedings will be taken against persons or organizations perpetrating acts in violation of this Article. 

ARTICLE 5 

Consistent with the termination of the state of war and within the framework of their constitutional provisions the Parties will abstain from any form of hostile propaganda against each other. 

ARTICLE 6 

Each Party will prevent entry into deployment in or passage through its territory its air space and subject to the right of innocent passage in accordance with international law its territorial sea by military forces armament or military equipment of any state hostile to the other Party. 

ARTICLE 7 

Except as provided in the present Agreement nothing will preclude the deployment on Lebanese territory of international forces requested and accepted by the Government of Lebanon to assist in maintaining its authority. New contributors to such forces shall be selected from among states having diplomatic relations with both Parties to the present Agreement. 

ARTICLE 8 

1. a. Upon entry into force of the present Agreement a Joint Liaison Committee will be established by the Parties in which the United States of America will be a participant and will commence its functions. This Committee will be entrusted with the supervision of the implementation of all areas covered by the present Agreement. In matters involving security arrangements it will deal with unresolved problems referred to it by the Security Arrangements Committee established in subparagraph c. below. Decisions of this Committee will be taken unanimously. 

b. The Joint Liaison Committee will address itself on a continuing basis to the development of mutual relations between Israel and Lebanon inter alia the regulation of the movement of goods products and persons communications etc. 

c. Within the framework of the Joint Liaison Committee there will be a Security Arrangements Committee whose composition and functions are defined in the Annex of the present Agreement. 

d. Subcommittees of the Joint Liaison Committee may be established as the need arises. 

e. The Joint Liaison Committee will meet in Israel and Lebanon alternately. 

f. Each Party if it so desires and unless there is an agreed change of status may maintain a liaison office on the territory of the other Party in order to carry out the above-mentioned functions within the framework of the Joint Liaison Committee and to assist in the implementation of the present Agreement. 

g. The members of the Joint Liaison Committee from each of the Parties will be headed by a senior government official. 

h. All other matters relating to these liaison offices their personnel and the personnel of each Party present in the territory of the other Party in connection with the implementation of the present Agreement will be the subject of a protocol to be concluded between the Parties in the Joint Liaison Committee. Pending the conclusion of this protocol the liaison offices and the above-mentioned personnel will be treated in accordance with the pertinent provisions of the Convention on Special Missions of December 8 1969 including those provisions concerning privileges and immunities. The foregoing is without prejudice to the positions of the Parties concerning that Convention. 

2. During the six-month period after the withdrawal of all Israeli armed forces from Lebanon in accordance with Article 1 of the present Agreement and the simultaneous restoration of Lebanese governmental authority along the international boundary between Israel and Lebanon and in the light of the termination of the state of war the Parties shall initiate within the Joint Liaison Committee bona fide negotiations in order to conclude agreements on the movement of goods products and persons and their implementation on a non-discriminatory basis. 

ARTICLE 9 

1. Each of the two Parties will take within a time limit of one year as of entry into force of the present Agreement all measures necessary for the abrogation of treaties laws and regulations deemed in conflict with the present Agreement subject to and in conformity with its constitutional procedures. 

2. The Parties undertake not to apply existing obligations enter into any obligations or adopt laws or regulations in conflict with the present Agreement. 

ARTICLE 10 

1. The present Agreement shall be ratified by both Parties in conformity with their respective constitutional procedures. It shall enter into force on the exchange of the instruments of ratification and shall supersede the previous agreements between Israel and Lebanon. 

2. The Annex the Appendix and the Map attached thereto and the Agreed Minutes to the present Agreement shall be considered integral parts thereof. 

3. The present Agreement may be modified amended or superseded by mutual agreement of the Parties. 

ARTICLE 11 

1. Disputes between the Parties arising out of the interpretation or application of the present Agreement will be settled by negotiation in the Joint Liaison Committee. Any dispute of this character not so resolved shall be submitted to conciliation and if unresolved thereafter to an agreed procedure for a definitive resolution. 

2. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph 1 disputes arising out of the interpretation or application of the Annex shall be resolved in the framework of the Security Arrangements Committee and if unresolved shall thereafter at the request of either Party be referred to the Joint Liaison Committee for resolution through negotiation. 

ARTICLE 12 

The present Agreement shall be communicated to the Secretariat of the United Nations for registration in conformity with the provisions of Article 102 of the Charter of the United Nations. 

Done at Kiryat Shmona and Khaldeh this seventeenth day of May 1983 in triplicate in four authentic texts in the Hebrew Arabic English and French languages. In case of any divergence of interpretation the English and French texts will be equally authoritative. 
  
David Kimche,
For the Government of the State of Israel

Antoine Fattal,
For the Government of the Republic of Lebanon 
  
Witnessed by: 
Morris Draper, 
For the Government of the United States of America 
  
ANNEX 
  
SECURITY ARRANGEMENTS 
  
1. Security Region: 

a. A Security Region in which the Government of Lebanon undertakes to implement the security arrangements agreed upon in this Annex is hereby established. 

b. The Security Region is bounded as delineated on the Map attached to this Annex in the north by a line constituting "Line A" and in the south and east by the Lebanese international boundary. 
  
2. Security Arrangements 

The Lebanese authorities will enforce special security measures aimed at detecting and preventing hostile activities as well as the introduction into or movement through the Security Region of unauthorized armed men or military equipment. The following security arrangements will apply equally throughout the Security Region except as noted: 

a. The Lebanese Army Lebanese Police Lebanese Internal Security Forces and the Lebanese auxiliary forces (ANSAR) organized under the full authority of the Government of Lebanon are the only organized armed forces and elements permitted in the Security Region except as designated elsewhere in this Annex. The Security Arrangements Committee may approve the stationing in the Security Region of other official Lebanese armed elements similar to ANSAR. 

b. Lebanese Police Lebanese Internal Security Forces and ANSAR may be stationed in the Security Region without restrictions as to their numbers. These forces and elements will be equipped only with personal and light automatic weapons and for the Internal Security Forces armored scout or commando cars as listed in the Appendix. 

c. Two Lebanese Army brigades may be stationed in the Security Region. One will be the Lebanese Army Territorial Brigade stationed in the area extending from the Israeli-Lebanese boundary to "Line B" delineated on the attached Map. The other will be a regular Lebanese Army brigade stationed in the area extending from "Line B" to "Line A". These brigades may carry their organic weapons and equipment listed in the Appendix. Additional units equipped in accordance with the Appendix may be deployed in the Security Region for training purposes including the training of conscripts or in the case of operational emergency situations following coordination in accordance with procedures to be established by the Security Arrangements Committee. 

d. The existing local units will be integrated as such into the Lebanese Army in conformity with Lebanese Army regulations. The existing local civil guard shall be integrated into ANSAR and accorded a proper status under Lebanese law to enable it to continue guarding the villages in the Security Region. The process of extending Lebanese authority over these units and civil guard under the supervision of the Security Arrangements Committee shall start immediately after the entry into force of the present Agreement and shall terminate prior to the completion of the Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon. 

e. Within the Security Region Lebanese Army units may maintain their organic anti-aircraft weapons as specified in the Appendix. Outside the Security Region Lebanon may deploy personal low and medium altitude air defense missiles. After a period of three years from the date of entry into force of the present Agreement the provision concerning the area outside the Security Region may be reviewed by the Security Arrangements Committee at the request of either Party. 

f. Military electronic equipment in the Security Region will be as specified in the Appendix. Deployment of ground radars within ten kilometers of the Israeli-Lebanese boundary should be approved by the Security Arrangements Committee. Ground radars throughout the Security Region will be deployed so that their sector of search does not cross the Israeli-Lebanese boundary. This provision does not apply to civil aviation or air traffic control radars. 

g. The provision mentioned in paragraph e. applies also to anti-aircraft missiles on Lebanese Navy vessels. In the Security Region Lebanon may deploy naval elements and establish and maintain naval bases or other shore installations required to accomplish the naval mission. The coastal installations in the Security Region will be as specified in the Appendix. 

h. In order to avoid accidents due to misidentification the Lebanese military authorities will give advance notice of all flights of any kind over the Security Region according to procedures to be determined by the Security Arrangements Committee. Approval of these flights is not required. 

i. (l) The forces weapons and military equipment which may be stationed stocked introduced into or transported through the Security Region are only those mentioned in this Annex and its Appendix. 

(2) No infrastructure auxiliary installations or equipment capable of assisting the activation of weapons that are not permitted by this Annex or its Appendix shall be maintained or established in the Security Region. 

(3) These provisions also apply whenever a clause of this Annex relates to areas outside the Security Region. 

3. Security Arrangements Committee 

a. Within the framework of the Joint Liaison Committee a Security Arrangements Committee will be established. 

b. The Security Arrangements Committee will be composed of an equal number of Israeli and Lebanese representatives headed by senior officers. A representative of the United States of America will participate in meetings of the Committee at the request of either Party. Decisions of the Security Arrangements Committee will be reached by agreement of the Parties. 

c. The Security Arrangements Committee shall supervise the implementation of the security arrangements in the present Agreement and this Annex and the timetable and modalities as well as all other aspects relating to withdrawals described in the present Agreement and this Annex. To this end and by agreement of the Parties it will: 

(l) Supervise the implementation of the undertakings of the Parties under the present Agreement and this Annex. 

(2) Establish and operate Joint Supervisory Teams as detailed below. 

(3) Address and seek to resolve any problems arising out of the implementation of the security arrangements in the present Agreement and this Annex and discuss any violation reported by the Joint Supervisory Teams or any complaint concerning a violation submitted by one of the Parties. 

d. The Security Arrangements Committee shall deal with any complaint submitted to it not later than 24 hours after submission. 

e. Meetings of the Security Arrangements Committee shall be held at least once every two weeks in Israel and in Lebanon alternately. In the event that either Party requests a special meeting it will be convened within 2 hours. The first meeting will be held within 48 hours after the date of entry into force of the present Agreement. 

f. Joint Supervisory Teams 

(l) The Security Arrangements Committee will establish Joint Supervisory Teams (Israel-Lebanon) subordinate to it and composed of an equal number of representatives from each Party. 

(2) The teams will conduct regular verification of the implementation of the provisions of the security arrangement in the Agreement and this Annex. The teams shall report immediately any confirmed violations to the Security Arrangements Committee and ascertain that violations have been rectified. 

(3) The Security Arrangements Committee shall assign a Joint Supervisory Team when requested to check border security arrangements on the Israeli side of the international boundary in accord with Article 4 of the present Agreement.
 
(4) The teams will enjoy freedom of movement in the air sea and land as necessary for the performance of their tasks within the Security Region. 

(5) The Security Arrangements Committee will determine all administrative and technical arrangements concerning the functioning of the teams including their working procedures their number their manning their armament and their equipment. 

(6) Upon submission of a report to the Security Arrangements Committee or upon confirmation of a complaint of either Party by the teams the respective Party shall immediately and in any case not later than 24 hours from the report or the confirmation rectify the violation. The Party shall immediately notify the Security Arrangements Committee of the rectification. Upon receiving the notification the teams will ascertain that the violation has been rectified. 

(7) The Joint Supervisory Teams shall be subject to termination upon 90 days notice by either Party given at any time after two years from the date of entry into force of the present Agreement. Alternative verification arrangements shall be established in advance of such termination through the Joint Liaison Committee. Notwithstanding the foregoing the Joint Liaison Committee may determine at any time that there is no further need for such arrangements. 

g. The Security Arrangements Committee will ensure that practical and rapid contacts between the two Parties are established along the boundary to prevent incidents and facilitate coordination between the forces on the terrain. 

4. It is understood that the Government of Lebanon may request appropriate action in the United Nations Security Council for one unit of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) to be stationed in the Sidon area. The presence of this unit will lend support to the Government of Lebanon and the Lebanese Armed Forces in asserting governmental authority and protection in the Palestinian refugee camp areas. For a period of 12 months the unit in the Sidon area may send teams to the Palestinian refugee camp areas in the vicinity of Sidon and Tyre to survey and observe if requested by the Government of Lebanon following notification to the Security Arrangements Committee. Police and security functions shall remain the sole responsibility of the Government of Lebanon which shall ensure that the provisions of the present Agreement shall be fully implemented in these areas. 
  
5. Three months after completion of the withdrawal of all Israeli forces from Lebanon the Security Arrangements Committee will conduct a full-scale review of the adequacy of the security arrangements delineated in this Annex in order to improve them. 

6. Withdrawal of Israeli Forces:

a. Within 8 to 12 weeks of the entry into force of the present Agreement all Israeli forces will have been withdrawn from Lebanon. This is consistent with the objective of Lebanon that all external forces withdraw from Lebanon. 

b. The Israel Defense Forces and the Lebanese Armed Forces will maintain continuous liaison during the withdrawal and will exchange all necessary information through the Security Arrangements Committee. The Israel Defense Forces and the Lebanese Armed Forces will cooperate during the withdrawal in order to facilitate the reassertion of the authority of the Government of Lebanon as the Israeli armed forces withdraw.

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