Wednesday, September 18, 1991

U.S. administration denies Secy. of State Baker linked future U.S. decision to grant Israel loan guarantees with freeze of Israel settlement building, stating reporters erred when reporting on Baker's 9/17 meeting with PM Shamir, but denial does little to assuage Israeli leaders, who were angered by the comment. (WP 9/19)

After arriving in Damascus, Baker is warned by Syrian FM al-Sharaa that U.S. loan guarantees to Israel would affect Arabs' attitude toward peace process. Baker also delivers draft U.S. assurances on the peace conference, including pledge to Syria that U.S. considers UN resolutions calling for Israeli withdrawal from the o.t. applied to "all fronts," including the Golan Heights. (WP, MEM 9/19)

Informed sources indicate secret U.S.- PLO talks carried out in Amman by PLO Exec. Comm. Mbr. Mahmud Abbas (Abu Mazin) and three officials from U.S. state department. Talks reportedly centered on Palestinian participation in peace talks. Americans reportedly tell Abbas that U.S. hopes PNC meeting in Algiers will allow Chmn. Arafat to authorize such participation and that Palestinians' only chance for representations as part of a joint Palestinian-Jordanian delegation. (MEM 9/23)

In Amman, PNC Speaker Shaykh 'Abd al-Hamid al-Sa'ih states Israel has rejected a UN request  to allow PNC delegates living in o.t. permission to travel to Algiers to attend PNC meeting. PLO had earlier requested UN assistance in arranging Israeli permission. (Radio Jordan 9/18 in FBIS 9/18)

Al-Sa'ih also announces that PNC members Edward W. Said and Ibrahim Abu-Lughod, both professors at American universities, have resigned from PNC for personal reasons. (Radio Monte Carlo 9/18 in FBIS 9/19)

U.S. Defense Secy. Richard Cheney signs 10-year U.S.-Kuwaiti defense agreement with Kuwaiti Def. Min. Shaykh 'Ali al-Sabah in Washington. (MEM 9/20)