Tripartite Declaration (1950)

views updated


Declaration issued by the United States, Britain, and France guaranteeing borders in Middle Eastern states.

On 25 May 1950 the United States, Britain, and France jointly issued the Tripartite Declaration, which guaranteed the territorial status quo determined by ArabIsraeli armistice agreements and stipulated close consultation among the three powers with a view to limiting the ArabIsraeli arms race. The aim of the Western powers was to contain the ArabIsraeli conflict in order to focus the attention of the states of the Middle East on anti-Soviet defense plans.

In June 1952 the Western powers set up the Near East Arms Coordinating Committee (NEACC), through which they coordinated their arms sales to all parties in the conflict. In fact, the United States sold virtually no arms in the Middle East, leaving those markets to Britain and France. Despite fierce Anglo-French competition, the NEACC functioned reasonably well for more than three years. Both Britain and France periodically withheld arms from the rivals in the ArabIsraeli dispute, primarily when those states took action that threatened British or French regional interests. The Czech arms deal of September 1955, by means of which the Soviet Union agreed to sell Egypt $250 million worth of modern weaponry, made irrelevant Western efforts to limit the flow of arms. In April 1956 France began to transfer large quantities of modern arms to Israel.

see also arms and armaments in the middle east.


Levey, Zach. Israel and the Western Powers, 19521960. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1997.

Safran, Nadav. From War to War: The ArabIsraeli Confrontation, 19481967; A Study of the Conflict from the Perspective of Coercion in the Context of Inter-Arab and Big Power Relations. New York: Pegasus, 1969.

Slonim, Shlomo. "Origins of the 1950 Tripartite Declaration on the Middle East." Middle Eastern Studies 23 (1987): 135149.

zach levey