Monday, July 10, 2000

In the morning, PM Barak goes to Cairo to discuss the final status talks with Pres. Mubarak. He then returns to Israel and narrowly survives a Knesset vote on 2 no-confidence motions, freeing him to depart for Camp David late tonight. (Arafat left earlier in the day. (MM 7/10; MENA 7/10 in WNC 7/11; CSM, NYT, WP, WT 7/11; CSM 7/12; Le Monde 7/12 in WNC 7/13; MEI 7/14)

Israel's Ezer Weizman steps down as pres. The timing has nothing to with Barak's coalition crisis; indeed, Weizman's last act is to urge Barak to forge ahead with the Camp David summit. Weizman decided in 5/00 to retire today after a police investigation concluded on 4/6 he was guilty of fraud but that statute of limitations for prosecution had run out. The Knesset will choose a new pres. on 7/31 (NYT, WP 7/11; MM, WJW 7/13; JP 7/21)

Bashar al-Asad, the sole candidate, is elected pres. of Syria with 97% of the vote. Some 210,000 Syrians working in Lebanon returned home for the election. (MM, NYT, WP, WT 7/11; Interfax, MENA, SA 7/11, JT 7/12 in WNC 7/13; CSM, WP, WT 7/12; MEI 7/14)