Sunday, February 8, 1998

EU Pres. Santer discusses peace process with PM Netanyahu. (ITV 2/8 in WNC 2/11)

Almost 1-yr. after the 3/13/97 shooting of 14 Israeli school girls by a Jordanian solider, Jordan's King Hussein sends Israel's Pres. Weizman a personal check for $1 m. for compensation to the girls' families. (IGPO 2/8; IGPO, MM 2/9; SA 2/9 in WNC 2/11; al-Quds al-`Arabi 2/11 in WNC 2/12; IGPO 2/12)

Syrian pres. Asad issues decree firing his brother Rifat al-Asad as 1 of 3 VPs. No explanation is given. (RJ 2/8, al-Ba`th 2/9, SA 2/10 in WNC 2/11; MM, WP 2/9; WP 2/11; YA 2/12 in WNC 2/15; MM 2/13)

Israeli DM Mordechai travels to Munich on short notice to discuss Iraq crisis with U.S. Defense Secy. Cohen, who says U.S. will give Israel early warning before operating in Iraq. U.S. also agrees to airlift Patriot missiles, chemical detectors, vaccines, other medications to Israel next wk. as a precaution. (IGPO 2/8; ITV 2/8 in WNC 2/11; MM 2/9)

After Saudi Arabia says it opposes military action to force Iraq to comply with UN sanctions, U.S. Defence Secy. Cohen says the U.S. will not ask to use Saudi bases to stage an attack. (NYT, WT 2/9)

Israeli treasury closes unit responsible for coordinating among government agencies to facilitate joint economic projects with Arab states. Foreign Min. departments in charge of Arab states will take this role over; joint projects with Jordan will be handled by Infrastructures M Sharon. (MA 2/8 in WNC 2/11)