Tuesday, March 23, 1999

Arafat meets with Pres. Clinton in Washington to discuss the post-Oslo period; asks the U.S. to endorse the Palestinians' right to self-determination. Clinton says U.S. will not change its policies but that final status talks, when they resume, should not be open-ended. (al-Akhbar 3/23 in WNC 3/24; MM, NYT, WP, WT 3/24; WJW 3/25; MEI, MM, PR, WJW 3/26; WJW 4/1)

In Georgia, PM Netanyahu holds talks with Pres. Eduard Shevardnadze on bilateral relations, economics, tourism, possible agmts. on military cooperation, oil, water. (Interfax, Radio Tblisi Network 3/23 in WNC 3/24; MM 3/25; Zerkalo Nedeli [Kiev] 3/27 in WNC 4/7; MM 4/6)

At an emergency mtg. in Vienna, Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), non-OPEC mbrs. agree to cut output by 2 mbpd to push prices up to avoid massive revenue losses by oil producers. Steps are in most drastic taken by OPEC in 13 yrs. (MM 4/1; MEI 4/9)