Sunday, July 14, 1991

Following decades of Syrian commitment to confrontation, Pres. al-Asad agrees to attend Middle East peace conference in letter answering Bush's 6/1 letter to him urging flexibility in Syria's position toward Middle East peace talks. (WP, LAT 7/15; WP 7/17)

Contents of the letter were not revealed, but U.S. officials hinted that it accepted Bush's proposals on terms of peace conference, and that al-Asad apparently renounced his earlier demands for an active UN role and for the conference to remain in constant session. (MEM 7/16, 7/22)

PLO Chmn. Arafat meets with King Hussein, Jordanian Prime Min. Tahir al-Masri, in Amman on U.S.-led peace efforts. (MEM 7/15)

Israel lifts trade sanctions against South Africa following similar U.S. decision. Ban on military contracts remains, although secret military deals continue. (LAT 7/15)

Israeli peace activist Abie Nathan arrested upon arrival in Israel following 6/29 meeting with Yasir Arafat in Tunis, an act which violates Israeli law. Nathan staged hunger strike in June to protest the law, under which he served 122 days in prison in 1990 for meeting Arafat. (MEM 7/15)

Israeli Peace Now movement wins legal battle to prevent establishment of Jewish cemetery in West Bank near Jerusalem. Defense ministry, religious affairs ministry informed Israeli high court of justice of their agreement tocancel proposal. (MEM 7/15)