Wednesday, October 16, 1991

Syrian FM Faruq al-Sharaa confirms Syria will attend peace conference but will not participate in subsequent talks on regional issues unless Israel displays willingness to withdraw from occupied Arab territories [see 9/26]. Al-Sharaa also states he will not shake hands with Israeli delegates at conference. (MEM, WP 10/17)

Tunisia, Morocco indicate they will take part in peace conference as observers. (MEM 10/17)

Secy. of State Baker travels to Jerusalem, holds discussions with PM Shamir, Palestinian negotiators. Talks with Palestinians centered on Palestinian delegation to peace conference. Two sides continue to disagree over Israeli demand that such a delegation not include Palestinians from East Jerusalem, a demand which Baker has urged Palestinian negotiators to accede to in order that the Palestinians not be left out of the peace process. (WP 10/17)

PLO delegation in Amman reportedly reaches agreement with Jordanian government over composition of joint Palestinian-Jordanian delegation under joint leadership of King Hussein and Chmn. Arafat. But Jordanian government states it has discussed the issue not with the PLO but "people from the occupied territories" in effort to stem Israeli objections to PLO role in choosing Palestinian delegates. (MEM 10/16; WP 10/17)

PLO Central Comm. meets in Tunis to discuss Palestinian participation in peace conference. (WP 10/17)

Clandestine al-Quds Palestinian Arab Radio reports statement has been issued in o.t. by PFLP-GC, Hamas, Fateh-Revolutionary Council [Abu Nidal], Islamic Jihad, Mujahid Islamic Trend, and Fateh-Uprising [Abu Musa] rejecting "conference of humiliation." (al-Quds Palestinian Arab Radio 10/16, in FBIS 10/17)

Israeli military court sentences Shaykh Aimad Yasin, founder of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), to life imprisonment for ordering the deaths of several alleged Palestinian collaborators. Yasin was arrested in May 1989. (NYT 10/17)