Wednesday, January 14, 1998

Israeli cabinet approves 8 loosely defined zones, locations in the West Bank as areas of "vital national interest" that will not be returned under any deal with the PA. (MM 1/14; ITV 1/14 in WNC 1/15; NYT, WP, WT 1/15; SA 1/15 in WNC 1/20)

Egyptian pres. Mubarak makes unscheduled trip to Damascus to discuss peace process, regional issues with Pres. Asad. (MENA 1/14 in WNC 1/15; MENA, SATN 1/14 in WNC 1/20; Tishrin 1/15 in WNC 1/21; NYT 1/16; al-Ittihad al-Usbu`i [Abu Dhabi] 1/16 in WNC 1/23; al-Dammam al-Yawm 1/25 in WNC 2/2)

In Amman, Shas leader Deri discusses peace process with King Hussein. Later the king meets with the board of the American Israel Public Affairs Comm. (AIPAC), stresses importance of Israeli adherence to Oslo agmts. (ITV, JTV 1/14 in WNC 1/20; MM 1/15; JT 1/17 in WNC 1/21) (see 1/8)

Georgian pres. Eduard Shevardnadze makes 1-day trip to Israel to discuss trade issues, sign Tbilisi-Jerusalem sister-city agmt. with PM Netanyahu. (Interfax [Moscow] 1/14 in WNC 1/15; Radio Tbilisi Network [Tbilisi] 1/19 in WNC 1/21)

Arab Parliamentary Union ends session in Luxor, Egypt; issues statement condemning "terrorism" in all its forms, affirms a people's right to national struggle to liberate occupied territory and regain national rights. (ESC Television [Cairo] 1/14 in WNC 1/15; RE 1/15 in WNC 1/20)

In Amman, Jordanian-Palestinian Transportation Comm. agrees on procedures for moving goods across the border. (JT 1/14 in WNC 1/15) (see 12/25)

In Tel Aviv, 30,000 Israelis, many bussed in fr. West Bank settlements, demonstrate against any FRD. (MM, WP 1/15)

U.S. Supreme Court begins to hear Akins vs. Federal Election Commission (FEC) case, culminating a 9-yr.-old battle in which a group of Washingtonians led by fmr. U.S. Amb. to Saudi Arabia James Akins has tried to convince the FEC that AIPAC should be regulated as a political action comm., subjecting it to strict campaign finance laws. (WJW 1/15; WJW 1/22)