Quarterly Updates for (16 May 1995 — 15 Aug 1995)

In May, Israel and the U.S. made several small concessions in an effort to revive talks, suspended since 4/26, including: a 5/17 Israeli offer to allow Syria to deploy an early warning station on Israeli territory in exchange for an equivalent system on Syrian soil; a 5/20 U.S. bridging proposal on security; and a reiterated Israeli offer (5/25) to make a "symbolic" withdrawal from the Golan. All were rejected by Syria. 

On 5/23, after Syria softened its insistence that security arrangements be "reciprocal and equal" (see Chronology 4/3), Israel and Syria agreed on a "Document of Understandings" or "guidelines" (not released; see Doc. C2 for an Israeli analysis of the document) for negotiating a Golan security arrangement to follow Israeli withdrawal and agreed to have military experts work out details in Washington. On 6/8, the sides set 6/27 as the date to reconvene.

On 6/25, Israeli negotiator Maj. Gen. Amnon Shahak arrived early in Washington to present the Pentagon with $2.5-b. "compensation package" Israel expects to receive from the U.S. in return for making peace with Syria. The package includes advanced JSTARS surveillance, stationary ground early warning stations, satellite transformation ad linkage stations, and access to U.S. high-resolution satellite information.

The 6/27-29 negotiations addressed security arrangements in the context of "a phased-withdrawal scenario," with Syria reportedly returning to old positions presented in the 12/94 talks. Sides agreed on the need for some form of early-warning mechanism, demilitarized zones or "zones of separation" monitored by multinational forces, observer posts, and scaled-back troop deployments but did not discuss details or methods of implementation. All specific proposals were rejected: Israel turned down an offer of a 10:6 (Syria:Israel) demilitarization zone ratio; Syria rejected Israeli requests for a hot line between military headquarters and joint patrols with the UN observer force in the Golan, and a U.S. proposal (supported by Israel) to station U.S., rather than UN, troops on the Golan following Israeli withdrawal. On 6/29, sides broke for two weeks to assess the talks.

roke for two weeks to assess the talks. Keeping to the 3/22 four-stage formula, U.S. special envoy Dennis Ross shuttled between Jerusalem and Damascus (7/ 10-13) to prepare for second phase of talks between Syrian and Israeli military experts, planned for mid-July. Pres. Hafiz al-Asad expressed reservations about procedural matters and declared that for Syria to join the next round of talks Ross had to achieve "progress in the right direction" on four issues: Israeli withdrawal to 1967 border; no Israeli early-warning sites on Syrian territory; equal and balanced security arrangements; and Israeli withdrawal before normalization. Asad accepted the U.S. idea of ground earlywarning posts manned by international (non-Israeli) forces. 

Shortly after Ross departed (without setting a date or agenda for the next round) Syria (on 7/15, 7/30) and Israel (7/14, 7/15) accused each other of backtracking on previous understandings on early-warning posts. On 7/17, Rabin rejected Syria's compromise proposal to hold an ambassadors meeting in Washington with military experts on site to participate as needed, calling it a violation of the 3/22 formula. On 7/30, Syria said talks between military experts could not resume until an agenda on security arrangements was agreed upon. On 8/2, Rabin rejected Secy. of State Warren Christopher's request to resume talks with Syria on the ambassadorialevel, demanding talks include military advisers. By mid-August, the track was still stalled.