Tuesday, March 7, 2000

U.S. special envoy Ross returns to the Middle East to try to restart talks on the Israeli-Palestinian track. (AYM, al-Quds 3/7 in WNC 3/9; WP, WT 3/8)

Arafat, Barak secretly meet in Tel Aviv to discuss differences blocking renewal of their peace talks, especially implementation of the 3d stage of the 2d further redepolyment (FRD) outlined in Wye II. U.S. special envoy Ross does not attend. (MM, NYT, WP, WT 3/8; al-Quds 3/9 in WNC 3/13)

Syria's cabinet resigns. Pres. Asad names Aleppo governor Muhammad Mustafa Miru as the new PM, charging him with forming a new government to "modernize the administration." This is seen as a move by Asad to accelerate economic and social reform, to reduce the Ba`th party's political role (Miru is a low-level Ba`th official), to inject new blood into the cabinet and is not expected to affect negotiations with Israel. (CSM, MM, NYT, WP 3/8; MM 3/9, 3/10; JP 3/17; MEI 3/24; al-Majallah 4/10 in WNC 4/14)

Israeli police begin to investigate a complaint that Transportation M Mordechai sexually assaulted a female employee. Mordechai denies the charges, takes a leave of absence fr. his post to speed the investigation. (MM 3/7; MM, NYT, WT 3/8; WJW 3/9; WJW 3/16; JP 3/17)