Wednesday, May 15, 1991

Arab League ministerial meeting opens in Cairo; in unopposed election, Arab League chooses Egyptian F.M. Esmat Abdel Meguid as its Sec.-Gen. for the next 5 years [MEM 5/15; WP, NYT 5/16; CDS, RMC, MENA 5/15 in FBIS 5/16].

Meeting in Israel, Sec. Baker and P.M. Shamir draw up confidential document that acknowledges the obstacles to holding regional peace conference, but points toward fresh attempt to start Israeli-Palestinian talks [WP, LAT 5/16]. But Israel rejects Sec. Baker's proposals for bridging differences with Syria [MEM 5/15; NYT 5/16].

U.S. diplomatic and intelligence sources say that roughly 10 days ago, Israel told American military attaches in Tel Aviv that Israeli military action in southern Lebanon was possible; warning is seen as message to Lebanon and Syria not to take action against Israel-backed SLA [WP 5/16].

34-member team of international specialists arrive in Baghdad for week of on-site inspections of Iraq's nuclear facilities to ensure compliance with UN resolutions prohibiting Iraqi possession of weapons of mass destruction [MEM 5/15; WP, NYT, LAT 5/16].

Palestinians who met with Sec. Baker say that he told them American initiative did not envision eventual creation of Palestinian state: "Less than a state, more than autonomy," is how one participant put it [NYT, MEM 5/16].

On conclusion of 5-day meeting in Tunis Fateh Revolutionary Council calls for meeting of Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and PLO to coordinate stands on Middle East issues [MENA 5/15, DUS 5/16 in FBIS 5/16].