Monday, May 6, 1991

Speaking at joint press conference, Pres. Mitterrand, Pres. Gorbachev express support for international peace conference and Palestinian statehood [MEM 5/8].

Israeli officials and Western diplomats say Gulf states are weighing relaxation of Arab League economic boycott against Israel and firms that do business with Israel [WP 5/7]. Palestinian and PLO editorials attack Kuwait for planning to ease boycott [MEM 5/7].

Arriving in Riyadh, Def. Sec. Cheney opens efforts to negotiate sweeping changes in U.S.-Arab military relationship that would include permanently stationing weaponry and deploying large numbers of troops during rotating exercises in the Gulf region (cf. 5/9) [WP, NYT 5/7; SPA 5/6 in FBIS 5/7].

Syrian officials say that Lebanese guerrilas fighting against Israeli-backed militias in southern Lebanon should not lay down their weapons under Beirut's plan for disarming all militias: "Weapons of resistance groups ... cannot be touched until the Israeli enemy abandons the border strip" [NYT 5/7].

In letter to UN Sec.-Gen., Iraq asks for 5- year delay on paying war reparations so as to first rebuild its economy. U.S. ambassador to UN Thomas Pickering says Sec. Council is unlikely to ease that part of cease-fire agreement [NYT 5/7].