The Cairo agreement or Cairo accord was an agreement reached on 2 November 1969 during talks between Yassir Arafat and the Lebanese army commander General Emile Bustani.[1] Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser helped to broker the deal.[2]

Although the text of the agreement was never published, an unofficial (but probably accurate) text appeared in the Lebanese daily newspaper An-Nahar on 20 April 1970.[1] The agreement established principles under which the presence and activities of Palestinian guerrillas in southeast Lebanon would be tolerated and regulated by the Lebanese authorities.[1][3]

Under the agreement the 16 official UNWRA camps in Lebanon - home to 300,000 Palestinian refugees - were removed from the stern jurisdiction of the Maronite-dominated Lebanese army's Deuxième Bureau and placed under the authority of the Palestinian Armed Struggle Command.[4] Although the camps remained under Lebanese sovereignty the new arrangements meant that, after 1969, they became a key popular base for the guerrilla movement.[4][5]

The agreement also established the right of the Palestinian residents of Lebanon "to join the Palestinian revolution through armed struggle".[6]

Subsequently, the Palestine Liberation Organization effectively established "a state within a state" in Lebanon.[7]


Palestinian involvement did increase in Lebanon in the early 1970s, especially after the failed coup in Jordan in September 1970, the Lebanese army being incapable of limiting the areas of PLO activity.[3] In April 1975 civil war broke out in Lebanon and several months later the PLO entered the conflict on the side of the leftist Lebanese National Movement.[8] Following the military successes of this alliance the right-wing Maronite president Suleiman Frangieh called upon Syria to intervene. The PLO subsequently retreated to the south, but continued guerrilla operations across the Lebanon-Israel border, resulting in the Israeli invasion of March, 1978.[8][9]

Escalations in the conflict led ultimately to the Israeli invasion and occupation of Lebanon in the 1982 Lebanon War.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Cobban, 1984, p. 47.
  2. Roeder & Rothchild, 2005, p. 231.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Weisburd, 1997, p. 142.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Cobban, 1984, p. 48.
  5. Cobban, 1984, p. 64.
  6. Weinberger, 1986, p. 126.
  7. Rubenberg, 1986, p. 137
  8. 8.0 8.1 Kushner, 2003, p.282.
  9. Federal Research Division, 2004, p. 206.


  • Cobban, Helena (1984). The Palestinian Liberation Organisation: People, Power, and Politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521272165
  • Federal Research Division (2004). Lebanon: A Country Study. Kessinger Publishing. ISBN 1419129430
  • Kushner, Harvey, W. (2003). Encyclopedia of Terrorism. Sage Publications. ISBN 0761924086
  • Roeder, Philip G. & Rothchild, Donald S. (2005). Sustainable Peace: Power and Democracy After Civil Wars. Cornell University Press. ISBN 0801489741
  • Rubenberg, Cheryl A. (1986). Israel and the American National Interest: A Critical Examination. University of Illinois Press. ISBN 0252060741
  • Solh, Raghid el- (2004). Lebanon and Arabism. I.B.Tauris. ISBN 1860640516
  • Weinberger, Naomi Joy (1986). Syrian Intervention in Lebanon: The 1975-76 Civil War. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195040104
  • Weisburd, Arthur (1997). Use of Force: The Practice of States, 1945-1991. Penn State Press. ISBN 0271016809ar:اتفاق القاهرة 1969no:Kairo-avtalen

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