Saturday, May 9, 1998

U.S. cancels Washington summit planned for 5/11, says Pres. Clinton is trying to set up the talks for later this mo. Netanyahu spokesman Bar-Ilan says Netanyahu's schedule is full until 5/28. (al-Dustur 5/9, RJ 5/10 in WNC 5/12; NYT, WP, WT 5/10; NYT, WP 5/11; JP 5/16)

FMs fr. Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, UK, U.S. (in London to prepare for upcoming mtg. of the G-8 leading industrialized nations) unanimously call on Israel to accept the U.S. FRD proposal. (LPA 5/9, SANA 5/10 in WNC 5/12; WT 5/10)

At the Vatican, Lebanese pres. Hrawi discusses Israel's conditional withdrawal proposal with Pope John Paul II, who expresses support for Lebanon's stance. (RL 5/9, 5/11 in WNC 5/12)

ITV reports that it has uncovered a document signed by Infrastructures M Sharon in which the Likud promises Ultraorthodox leaders that in exchange for their votes for Netanyahu in the 1996 election, the party would make sure that 2 new settlements plus up to 79,000 new housing units in existing settlements would be constructed; would look into providing grants, loans, exemptions to cover settlers' construction costs. PM's Office says that it doubts the document could be considered a legal agmt., meaning that it would not have to have been submitted to the Knesset, does not constitute election bribery. (ITV 5/9 in WNC 5/12)