Monday, October 20, 1997

In Jerusalem, U.S. special envoy Ross hosts mtg. btwn. Israeli FM Levy, Arafat adviser Abbas; encourages them to speed up subcomm. negotiations. Levy says Israel is willing to limit settlement construction to a "necessary minimum." Ross aslo meets separately with Netanyahu, Arafat. (MM 10/20; IDF Radio 10/20 in WNC 10/22; CSM, MM, NYT, WT 10/21; MEI 10/24)

Israel, Jordan agree in principle to set up a joint authority to oversee Jordan Valley development (incl. tourism, water, agriculture, industrial park projects); Israeli proposal for a Las Vegas-style tourism, commercial center in the Aqaba-Elat area. (Globes [Internet] 10/20 in WNC 10/22)

Jordan announces it will send high-level delegation to Doha economic summit. At mtg., Jordan plans to submit projects for transforming Aqaba region into free trade and tourist zone; improving water and waste-water infrastructure; enlarging petroleum refinery at al-Zarqa'; creating small industries, magnesium plant in Dead Sea area; building railway, port; developing tourist sites. (RJ 10/20 in WNC 10/22; see also JT 10/19 in WNC 10/22; RJ 10/24, JT 10/26, al-Ra'i 10/27 in WNC 10/29)

In Beirut, 2 gunmen open fire on 2 of Abu Nidal relatives, killing Omar Banna, wounding Nasireddin Banna. Lebanese officials claim the shooting stemmed fr. intra-Palestinian disputes. (WP 10/21; WT 10/22; MM 10/29)