Postscript to Oslo: The Mystery of Norway's Missing Files

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VOL. 38

2007/08

No. 1
P. 54
Report
Postscript to Oslo: The Mystery of Norway's Missing Files
ABSTRACT

In Norway, the secret negotiations culminating in the 1993 Oslo agreement are still seen as a shining moment in the nation’s history, so when the files of the entire process were discovered to be missing from government archives, a minor public scandal erupted. After laying out the Oslo “myth” and its cast of characters, the author recounts the story of the disappearance of the files, new revelations concerning their scope, and the (thus far unsuccessful) quest to recover them. The author concludes by exploring the implications of the backchannel negotiations for the entire Oslo process and its lessons for conflict resolution, particularly third-party mediation in highly asymmetrical conflicts.

Hilde Henriksen Waage,professor of history at the University of Oslo and senior researcher at the International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO), is the author of Peacemaking Is a Risky Business: Norway’s Role in the Peace Process in the Middle East, 1993–96. Her findings on the Arab-Israeli negotiations at Rhodes in 1949 are forthcoming.