Oslo revisited: Was the US ever the ‘honest broker’?

US President Bill Clinton (C) stands between PLO leader Yasser Arafat (R) and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzahk Rabin (L) as they shake hands for the first time, on September 13, 1993 at the White House in Washington DC, after signing the historic Israel-PLO Oslo Accords on Palestinian autonomy in the occupied territories. / AFP PHOTO / J. DAVID AKE
The Oslo Accords marked the first time Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organisation formally recognised one another.

Not a peace treaty in itself, the Oslo Declaration of Principles signed in the early 1990s aimed to establish interim governance agreements and a framework to facilitate further negotiations for a final agreement that would be concluded within five years. Crucially, many key issues – including the status of Jerusalem, Israeli settlements in the West Bank and the right of return for Palestinian refugees – were not agreed upon and were set aside for later negotiations. But nearly 25 years later, there has virtually been no progress.
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