Wednesday, May 8, 1991

Soviet F.M. Bessmertnykh begins trip to Middle East, arriving in Damascus and assuring Syrian leadership that Moscow remains "a strong supporter of the Arab cause." Bessmertnykh is also to visit Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt, where he is expected to meet with Sec. Baker [MEM 5/8; WP, NYT 5/9; DDS 5/8 in FBIS 5/8, 5/9].

Pres. Mubarak announces decision to pull the nearly 40,000 Egyptian troops out of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait; media debates whether announcement signals the end of Damascus agreement made on 3/5 that provided for postwar security arrangements built around Syrian and Egyptian troops [MEM 5/9; MENA 5/8 in FBIS 5/8; WP 5/11].

Sec. Cheney visits Muscat, Abu Dhabi, and Doha to discuss U.S.-Arab military agreements [WAKH 5/8 in FBIS 5/8].

Head of Israeli Civil Administration in West Bank grants 31 permits for establishment of businesses with policy of providing employment to hundreds of laborers [IGP 5/8 in FBIS 5/9].