Friday, September 14, 1990

Iraqi soldiers storm the French, Canadian, and Belgian diplomatic quarters in Kuwait, briefly detaining U.S. consul and other diplomats; Pres. Bush declares action "outrageous," hints at possible U.S. response [LAT, NYT, WP 9/15; LAT 9/16; MET 9/25].

In what would be the largest military sale in U.S. history (previous largest: 1981 $9 billion AWACS deal), officials report Bush admin. is planning to sell Saudi Arabia about $20 billion in sophisticated weaponry to help bolster that nation against future Gulf unrest [LAT, NYT, WP 9/15; MEM 9/17; JPI 9/22].

In sharp departure after weeks of Iraqi cooperation, Iraqi tanker in Gulf of Oman ignores U.S. demands to stop and submit to search; U.S. and Australian ships fire across taker's bow, forcibly board it, then allow it to continue after search [LAT, NYT, WP 9/15].

In 4-hour Damascus meeting, Sec. Baker and Pres. Asad discuss Gulf situation, future regional security structure, terrorism; agree that Arab world must take the lead in confronting Iraq's occupation of Kuwait, and that American troops must be withdrawn from the region as soon as crisis ends [DDS 9/14 in FBIS 9/14; MEM 9/14, 9/17; NYT, LAT, WP 9/15].

Signaling shift in Soviet policy, Pres. Gorbachev meets 2 senior Israeli cabinet members in Moscow in first such meeting since 1967 [LAT 9/15; JPI 9/22; MET 9/25].

Bonn, Tokyo, and London announce details of each nation's further contributions to multinational force in Middle East [WP 9/14; NYT 9/15].