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The Treaty of Taif, 1934

   

Taif, 20 May,1934

In the Name of God the Merciful, the Compassionate. His Honourable Majesty the Imam Abdul Aziz Abdurrahman-al-Feysal al-Saud, King of the Saudi Arabian Kingdom on the one part, and His Honourable Majesty the Imam Yahya-bin-Muhammad Hamiduddin, King of the Yemen, on the other part.

Being desirous of ending the state of war unfortunately existing between them and their Governments and peoples;

And of uniting the Islamic Arab nation and raising its condition and maintaining its prestige and independence,

And in view of the necessity of establishing firm treaty relations between them and their Governments and countries on a basis of mutual advantage and reciprocal interests;

And wishing to fix the frontiers between their countries and to establish relations of good neighbourship and ties of Islamic friendship between them and to strengthen the foundations of peace and tranquillity between their peoples and countries; And being desirous that there should be a united front against sudden mishaps and a solid structure to preserve the safety of the Arabian peninsula:

Have resolved to conclude a treaty of Islamic friendship and Arab brotherhood between them and for that purpose have nominated the following representatives plenipotentiaries on their behalf.

[Here follow the names.]

Their Majesties the two Kings have accorded to their above-mentioned representatives full powers and absolute authority; and their above-mentioned representatives, having perused each other's credentials and found them in proper form, have, in the name of their Kings, agreed upon the following articles:

Article 1: The state of war existing between the Kingdom of the Yemen and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia shall be terminated as from the moment of signature of this treaty, and there shall forthwith be established between Their Majesties the Kings and their countries and peoples a state of perpetual peace, firm friendship and everlasting Islamic Arab brotherhood, inviolable in part or whole. The two high contracting parties undertake to settle in a spirit of affection and friendship all disputes and differences which may arise between them, and to ensure that a spirit of Islamic Arab brotherhood shall dominate their relations in all states and conditions. They call God to witness the goodness of their intentions and their true desire for concord and agreement, both secretly and openly, and they pray the Almighty to grant them and their successors and heirs and Governments success in the continuance of this proper attitude, which is pleasing to the Creator and honourable to their race and religion.

Article 2: Each of the two high contracting parties recognises the full and absolute independence of the Kingdom of the other party and his sovereignty over it. His Majesty the Imam Abdul Aziz-bin Abdurrahman-al-Feysal-al-Saud, King of the Saudi Arabian Kingdom, acknowledges to His Majesty the Imam Yahya and his lawful descendants the full and absolute independence of the Kingdom of the Yemen and his sovereignty over it, and His Majesty the Imam Yahya-bin-Muhammad Hamiduddin, King of the Yemen, acknowledges to His Majesty the Imam Abdul Aziz and his lawful descendants the full and absolute independence of the Saudi Arabian Kingdom and his sovereignty over it. Each of them gives up any right he claimed over the any part or parts of the country of the other party beyond the frontiers fixed and defined in the text of this treaty. His Majesty the Imam King Abdul Aziz abandons by this treaty any right of protection or occupation, or any other right, which he claimed in the country which, according to this treaty, belongs to the Yemen and which was (formerly) in the possession of the Idrisis and others. His Majesty the Imam Yahya similarly abandons by this treaty any right he claimed in the name of Yemeni unity or otherwise, in the country (formerly) in the possession of the Idrisis or the Al-Aidh, or in Najran, or in the Yam country, which according to this treaty belongs to the Saudi Arabian Kingdom.

Article 3: The two high contracting parties agree to conduct their relations and communications in such a manner as will secure the interests of both parties and will cause no harm to either of them, provided that neither of the high contracting parties shall concede to the other party less than he concedes to a third party. Neither of the two parties shall be bound to concede to the other party more than he receives in return.

Article 4: The frontier line which divides the countries of the two high contracting parties is explained in sufficient detail hereunder. This line is considered as a fixed dividing boundary between the territories subject to each.

The frontier line between the two Kingdoms begins at a point half way between Midi and Al Muim on the coast of the Red Sea, and (runs) up to the mountains of the Tihama in an easterly direction. It then turns northwards until it ends on the north-west boundary between the Beni Jama'a and (the tribes) adjacent to them on the north and west. It then bends east until it ends at a point between the limits of the Naqa'a and Wa'ar, which belong to the Waila tribe, and the limits of the Yam. It then bends until it reaches the pass of Marwan and Aqaba Rifada. It then bends eastwards until it ends, on the east, on the edge of the boundary between those of the Hamdan-bin-Zaid, Waila, etc, who are outside Yam, and Yarm. Everything which runs on the right-hand side of the above-mentioned line, which runs from the point mentioned on the sea shore up to the end of the borders on all sides of the mountains mentioned, shall belong to Yemen, and everything to the left of the above-mentioned line shall belong to the Saudi Arabian Kingdom. On the Yemen side are Medi, Haradh, part of the Harth tribe, Mir, the Dhahir Mountains, Shada, Dhay'a, part of the Abadil, all the country and the mountains of Razih, Manbah, with Arwa-al-Amshaykk, all the country and the mountains of Beni Jama'a, Sahar-ash-Sham, Yabad and its neighbourhood, the Maraisagha area of the Sahar-ash-Sham, the whole of Sahar, Naqa'a, Wa'ar, the whole of Waila, and also Far with Aqabat Nahuqa, the whole of Hamdan-bin-Zaid, which is outside Yamand Wad'a Dhahran. These mentioned, and their territories within their known limits, and all between the said directions and their vicinities, the names of which are not mentioned and whichwere actually subject to or under the control of the Yemeni Kingdom before the year 1352, are on the Yemeni side and belong to the Yemen. On the left-hand side are Muim, Wa'lan, most of the Harth, the Khuba, the Jabri, most of the Abadil, all Faifa, Beni Malik, Beni Haris, the Al Talid, Qahtan, Dhahran, Wadi'a, all the Wadi'a Dhahran, together with the pass of Marwan, and Aqaba Rifida, and the area lying beyond on the east and north of Yam and Najran, Hadhim, Zur Wada, all the Waila in Najran, and all below the Aqaba Nuhuqa, up to the edges of Najran and Yam on the east, all these, and their territories within known limits, and all between the named directions and their vicinities which have not been mentioned by name, and which were actually subject to or under the control of the Saudi Arabian Kingdom before the year 1352, are on the left-hand side of the said line and belong to the Saudi Arabian Kingdom. Everything mentioned regarding Yam, Najran, Hadan, Zur Wad'a, and all the Waila in Najran, is in accordance with the decision (tahkim) of His Majesty the Imam Yahya to His Majesty King Abdul Aziz as regards Yam, and the judgement (hukm) of His Majesty King Abdul Aziz that all of it should belong to the Saudi Arabian Kingdom; and while the Hadan and Zur Wad'a and the Waila in Najran belong to Waila, and, except in so far as has been mentioned, do not come within the Saudi Arabian Kingdom, this shall not prevent them or their brothers of Waila from enjoying mutual relations and intercourse and the usual and customary co-operation. This line then extends from the end of the above-mentioned limits between the edges of the Saudi Arabian tribes and of those of the Hamdam-bin-Zaid, and all the Yemeni tribes who are outside Yam. All the borders and the Yemeni territories up to the end of the Yemeni frontier in all directions belong to the Yemeni Kingdom; and all the borders and territories up to the end of their boundaries, in all directions, belong to the Saudi Arabian Kingdom. All points mentioned in this article, whether north, south, east or west, are to be considered in accordance with the general trend of the frontier line in the directions indicated; often obstacles cause it to bend into the country of one or other Kingdom. As regards the determination and fixing of the said line, the separating out of the tribes and the settlement of their diras in the best manner, these shall be effected by a committee formed of an equal number of persons from the two parties, in a friendly and brotherly way and without prejudice, according to tribal usage and custom.

Article 5: In view of the desire of both high contracting parties for the continuance of peace and tranquillity, and for the non-existence of anything which might disturb the thoughts of these two countries, they may mutually undertake not to construct any fortified building within a distance of 5 kilometres on either side of the frontier, anywhere along the frontier line.

Article 6: The two high contracting parties undertake immediately to withdraw their troops from the country which, by virtue of this treaty, becomes the property of the other party, and to safeguard the inhabitants and troops.

Article 7: The two high contracting parties undertake to prevent their people from committing any harmful or hostile act against the people of the other Kingdom, in any district or any route ; to prevent raiding between the Bedouin on both sides; to return all property which is established by legal investigation, after the ratification of this treaty, as having been taken; to give compensation for all damage, according as may be legally necessary, where crimes of murder or wounding have been committed; and severely to punish anyone proved to have committed any hostile act. This article shall continue operative until another agreement shall have been drawn up between the two parties as to the manner of investigating and estimating damage and loss.

Article 8: The two high contracting parties mutually undertake to refrain from resorting to force in all difficulties between them, and to do their utmost to settle any disputes which may arise between them, whether caused by this treaty or the interpretation of all or any of its articles or resulting from any other cause, by friendly representations; in the event of inability to agree by this means, each of the two parties undertakes to resort to arbitration, of which the conditions, the manner of demand, and the conduct are explained in the appendix attached to this treaty. This appendix shall have the force and authority of this treaty, and shall be considered an integral part of it.

Article 9: The two high contracting parties undertake, by all moral and material means at their command, to prevent the use of their territory as a base and centre for any hostile action or enterprise, or preparations therefor, against the country of the other party. They also undertake to take the following measures immediately on receipt of a written demand from the Government of the other party:

a) If the person endeavouring to foment insurrection is a subject of the Government which receives the application to take measures, he should, after the matter has been legally investigated and established, receive a deterrent punishment which will put an end to his actions and prevent their recurrence.

b) If the person endeavouring to foment insurrection is a subject of the Government making the demand over to the Government making the demand. The Government asked to surrender him shall have no right to excuse itself from carrying out this demand, but shall be bound to take adequate steps to prevent the flight of the person asked for, and in the event of the person asked for being able to run away, the Government from whose territory he has fled should undertake not to allow him to return, and if he does so, to arrest him and hand him over to his Government.

c) If the person endeavouring to foment insurrection is a subject of a third Government, the Government to which the demand is made and which finds the person in its territories shall, immediately and directly after the receipt of the demand of the other Government, take steps to expel him from its country, and to consider him as undesirable and to prevent him from returning.

Article 10: The two high contracting parties agree not to receive anyone who has fled the jurisdiction of his Government, regardless of circumstances, and are bound to return any fugitives who cross the border to theirown Government.

Article 11: The two high contracting parties undertake to prevent their Amirs, Amils and officials from interfering in any way with subjects of the other party, and to prevent any disturbance or misunderstandings arising from such actions.

Article 12: Each of the two high contracting parties recognises that the people of all areas accruing to the other party by virtue of this treaty are subjects of that party. Each of them undertakes not to accept as his subjects any person who is subject to another party except with the consent of party.

Article 13: Each of the two high contracting parties undertakes to announce a full and complete amnesty for all crimes and hostile acts which may have been committed by any person who is a subject of the other party. Similarly, each of the two high contracting parties undertake to issue a full, general and complete amnesty to those of his subjects who have taken refuge or joined with the other party in any manner.

Article 14: Each of the two high contracting parties undertakes to return the property of those it pardons, in accordance with the laws of the country. They similarly undertake not to retain any goods or chattels belonging to subjects of the other party.

Article 15: Each of the two high contracting parties undertakes not to intermeddle with a third party of any kind in any matter which may injure the interests of the other party in any way.

Article 16: The two high contracting parties, who are bound by Islamic brotherhood and Arab origin, announce that their two nations are one nation, that they do not wish evil to anyone, and that they will do their best to promote the interests of their nation, intending no hostility to anyone.

Article 17: In the event of any external aggression on the country of one of the two high contracting parties, the other party shall be bound to carry out the following undertakings:

a) To adopt complete neutrality secretly and openly.

b) To co-operate mentally and morally as far as possible.

c) To undertake negotiations with the other party to discover the best way of guaranteeing the safety of that party.

Article 18: In the event of insurrection or hostilities taking place within the country of one of the high contracting parties, both of them mutually undertake as follows:

a) To take all necessary effective measures to prevent aggressors or rebels from making use of their territories.

b) To prevent fugitives from taking refuge in their countries, and to expel them if they do enter.

c) To prevent his subjects from joining the rebels and to refrain from encouraging or supplying them

d) To prevent assistance, supplies, arms and ammunition reaching the enemy or rebels.

Article 19: The two high contracting parties announce their desire to improve and increase communications and trade between the two countries, and to reach a customs agreement.

Article 20: Each of the two high contracting parties declares his readiness to authorise his representatives and delegates abroad, if such there be, to represent the other party, whenever the other party desires this, in any matter or at any time. It is understood that whenever representatives of both parties are together in one place they shall collaborate to unify their policy to promote the interests of their two countries, which are one nation. It is understood that this article does not restrict the freedom of either side in any manner whatsoever in any of its rights. Similarly, it cannot be interpreted as limiting the freedom of either of them or of compelling either to adopt this course.

Article 21: The contents of the agreement signed on 5 Shaban, 1350, shall in any case be cancelled as from the date of ratification of this treaty.

Article 22: This treaty shall be ratified and confirmed by Their Majesties the two Kings in the shortest possible time. It shall come into force as from the date of the exchange of the instruments of ratification, except as regards what has been laid down in Article 1, relative to the ending of the state of war immediately after signature. It shall continue for 20 complete lunar years. It may be renewed or modified during the six months preceding its expiry. If not renewed or modified by that date, it shall remain in force until 6 months after such time as one party has given notice to the other party of his desire to modify it.

Article 23: This treaty shall be called the 'Treaty of Taif". It has been drawn up in two copies in the noble Arabic language, each of the two high contracting parties having one copy.

SUMMARY OF ARBITRATION COVENANT

Each of the two high contracting parties agree to refer to arbitration in the case of dispute within one month of receiving such a demand for arbitration from the other party. The arbitration committee shall be composed of equal numbers selected by each party, and decisions will be made on the basis of a majority vote. Decisions of the arbitration committee shall be immediately binding and the costs of arbitration will be shared.

     

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Last revised on 08 June, 2009