Tuesday, November 9, 1999

Barak, Arafat hold generally positive mtg. on the sidelines of the Socialist International congress in Paris, but Barak sparks controversy afterward by saying that Israel no longer sees UN Res. 242, one of the bases of the Oslo process, as fully applicable to the West Bank and Gaza Strip. In his speech to the congress, Barak says that while Israel wants political separation fr. the Palestinian areas, "economic cooperation between us must and will continue"; calls on Syrian pres. Asad to resume bilateral negotiations. (MM 11/9; AFP 11/9 in WNC 11/10; AYM 11/9 in WNC 11/12; MM, WT 11/10; MEI 11/12)

Following the Socialist International mtg., Arafat heads to London to brief British PM Tony Blair on the status of the peace process. (LPA 11/9 in WNC 11/10)

In Paris, Egyptian pres. Mubarak holds talks on the peace process with Israeli PM Barak, condemns the PM's position on UN Res. 242. (MENA 11/9 in WNC 11/10; AFP 11/11 in WNC 11/12)

With the passage of the 2d deadline for the voluntary evacuation of 10 West Bank settlement enclaves, Israel announces that the IDF will forcibly evacuate the remaining occupied outpost, Havat Maon. Over the past few days, some 300 ultranationalist settlers have joined the 4 families originally encamped at the site, set up prefabricated houses in protest, hoping to make it impossible for the government to remove the settlement. A group of rabbis for the settlements issues a ruling forbidding the use of force against soldiers, but also calling the eviction a "crime against the Torah and the homeland." Barak cuts his trip to Paris short to return home to deal with the evacuation. (MM 11/9; NYT, WP 11/10; al-Quds 11/10 in WNC 11/12)

In Moscow, Russian FM Igor Ivanov discusses the peace process with EU special envoy Moratinos. Ivanov says Russia is willing to host a multilateral steering comm. mtg. whenever the parties agree that talks should resume. (Interfax, ITAR-TASS 11/9 in WNC 11/10)