Wednesday, April 24, 1991

At joint news conference in Damascus, Sec. Baker says his latest diplomatic mission has failed to bridge major differences between Israel and Syria over how to organize peace conference. Baker sharply criticizes Israel's 4/23 opening of new settlement [NYT, WP, CSM 4/25; DDS 4/24 in FBIS 4/25; MET 5/7].

Iraqi and Kurdish leaders say they have reached broad new agreement that will allow Kurds to return home. Jalal Talabani, leader of one of largest Kurdish groups, says agreement provides for new measure of autonomy for Kurdistan, and guarantees of democracy and pluralism [NYT, WP, LAT, MEM, WT 4/25; CSM 4/26; INA, RMC, AFP 4/24, ADS 4/25 in FBIS 4/25; MET 5/7].

Saudi Arabia says it will accept and shelter all Iraqi refugees in southern Iraq, and will build camp to accommodate as many as 50,000 people [NYT 4/25].

U.S. symbolically hands over American control of part of southern Iraq to UN forces; imminent departure of American troops is raising fears among refugees that UN troops will not defend them from Saddam's army [NYT, WP, LAT 4/25].

Kuwaiti official says new gov't.'s 1st act will be to downgrade relations with Algeria, Yemen, Jordan, and Sudan, which backed Iraq in Gulf war [LAT 4/25].

Knesset members from Labor, Citizens' Right Movement, and Mapam head Israeli delegation that leaves for Spain and international conference: "The Dialogue of Mediterranean Citizens." Palestinians from o.t. and PLO representatives are also attending [MEM 4/24].

U.S. ambassador to Israel William Brown files an official protest with Israeli gov't. about establishment and/or expansion of settlements in West Bank; Housing Min. Sharon says that Israel has no intention of meeting U.S. demands to slow or stop settlement: "... we built in the past, we build now, and we will build in the future" [MEM 4/25].

21-year-old Palestinian is shot dead in Rafah by IDF after he disobeys order to halt [MEM 4/25; FJ 4/29].