Thursday, October 24, 1991

In Damascus, Arab foreign ministers agree to coordinate stands during peace conference, not to strike separate deals with Israel. Syria failed to garner support for proposal that none of the delegations would attend the third-stage talks on regional issues until Israel returned occupied Arab territories. (MEM 10/24; NYT 10/25)

In another move toward Saudi-PLO reconciliation, PLO Pol. Dept. Head Faruq al-Qaddumi meets with Saudi FM Prince Sa'ud al-Faysal while both attend Damascus foreign ministers meeting. The meeting, brokered by Egyptian pres. Husni Mubarak, was their first since the Gulf war, and reportedly led to Sa'ud pledging to restore Saudi ties with PLO. (MEM 10/25)

Palestinian delegate Sa'ib 'Urayqat creates an uproar in Israel by declaring to the press that "we are the PLO delegation." Palestinian negotiator Faisal Husseini later states that 'Urayqat was speaking for himself. (NYT 10/2)

Faisal Husseini announces seven Palestinians will form an advisory committee to work with the steering committee attached to the Palestinian delegation to the peace conference. They are: Radwan Abu 'Ayyash, Ziyad Abu Zayyad, Ahmad al-Yazji, Jamil Tarifi, Radi Jara'i, Salih Abu Laban, 'Abd al-Hadi Abu Khawsh. (MEM 10/25; Voice of Palestine 10/26 in FBIS 10/28)

Some 300 Palestinian fighters opposed participation in the peace talks occupy the offices of Fateh in the 'Ayn al-Hilwa refugee camp near Sidon, S. Lebanon, and overrun much of the rest of the camp. Action was reportedly led by Maj. Munir Makda, commander of Force 17, Fateh's security force. (NYT 10/25)

Ten Palestinian groups which had been attending Tehran-based conference on Palestine sign 13-point statement denouncing Madrid peace conference, calling for escalation of intifada. Among signatories were PFLP, DFLP [Hawatma faction], Palestinian Popular Struggle Front, al-Sa'iqa. (Radio Monte Carlo 10/24 in FBIS 10/25)

Israel re-opens its embassy in Moscow, closed since the USSR broke diplomatic relations with Israel in 1967. (NYT 10/25)

Lebanese Pres. al-Hirawi states Ta'if accord calls for "redeployment-not a withdrawal-of Syrian forces," but suggests that if Israel withdrew from S. Lebanon, Syria would withdraw its forces from Lebanon. (MEM 10/24)