Thursday, May 25, 2000

In light of the need to expand UNIFIL, UN Secy.-Gen. Annan meets with mbrs. of Congress to urge them to release money that the U.S. has pledged to UN peacekeeping. Currently, 4 missions (Congo, East Timor, Kosovo, Sierra Leone) are underfunded because the Senate Appropriations Comm. has placed a hold on $368 m. (WT 5/26)

Israel's Interior M Natan Sharansky meets with UN High Commissioner for Refugees Sadako Ogata, informs her of Israel's intention to establish a national body to handle requests for asylum fr. 1,500 SLA mbrs. and their familles, totalling 6,420 persons in all, who have fled Lebanon with the IDF pullout. (MM 5/25; WJW 6/1; JP, MEI 6/2)

Hizballah gen. secy. Hassan Nasrallah says that his organization will turn over to the Lebanese authorities tanks, guns, and ammunition abandoned by the IDF and SLA but does not offer to disarm itself. Nasrallah says Hizballah refuses to commit its military resources to either Syria or the Palestinians in their quests to liberate their land fr. Israel, though it supports both goals. (NYT, WP 5/26)

The IDF lifts the ban on Israeli travel to Jericho. (NYT 5/26; JP 6/2) (see 5/21)