|Download PDF||406 KB|
Date Published:Jan 1, 1995
Since the widely publicized signing of the accord between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) in September of 1993, there has been general recognition of the role that unofficial efforts have played directly or indirectly – in making this agreement possible.
The Oslo, Norway talks themselves, from which this accord emerged, cannot be characterized as an instance of "unofficial" of "track two" diplomacy. Rather, the Oslo talks were a form of back–channel negotiations, which contained a mixture of official and unofficial – track one and track two – elements. The Oslo negotiations demonstrated dramatically, however, that private, nonofficial individuals and settings can play a significant role in advancing a negotiating process that had reached an impasse at the official level. The heightened awareness of the potential contributions of unofficial inputs served to remind observers of the contacts and interactions between Israelis and Palestinians that had been organized over the years by a variety of unofficial third parties and that helped lay the groundwork for the recent developments.