World News

Inside the Oslo accords, 30 years on

Posted by: The Conversation

Date: Thursday, 14 September 2023

When Yitzhak Rabin shook Yasser Arafat’s hand on the White House lawn 30 years ago today, many around the world hoped peace was coming to the Middle East. Rabin, the Israeli prime minister, and Arafat, chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, were there to sign a declaration of principles that would later become known as the first of the Oslo accords. For although it was US president Bill Clinton towering above the two men during their famous handshake, this was a moment brokered during secret negotiations in Oslo, not Washington.

In the early 1990s, Jan Egeland was Norway’s deputy foreign minister. In an interview for Inside the Oslo Accords, a new podcast series for The Conversation Weekly, Egeland reflects on the unique set of circumstances that allowed the negotiations to happen when they did. “People couldn’t believe it,” he remembers.

The series is hosted by James Rodgers, reader in international journalism and Amnon Aran, professor of international politics, both at City, University of London. After hearing discussion about the Israel-Palestine conflict by students on campus, they came to The Conversation wanting to inform a new generation about what happened.

In the coming weeks, through conversations with some of the leading participants in the process, they’ll help us to explore what happened after the handshake, as well as the legacy of Oslo today. Subscribe to The Conversation Weekly to listen.

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Gemma Ware

Editor and Co-Host, The Conversation Weekly Podcast

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