Wednesday, January 26, 2000

Despite his cancellation of experts meetings with the U.S. (see 1/25), Barak says he is optimistic that talks with Syria will resume in 4+n6 wks. (MM 1/26)

 Israeli and PA chief negotiators Oded Eran and `Abid Rabbuh hold a preparatory mtg. in advance of their intensive negotiations on the FAPS, which are set to start on 1/30. (AFP 1/27 in WNC 1/28)

Israel, the PA agree to move forward with plans to build 2 water purification plants along the 1967 border to serve both Israeli and Palestinian towns. Funding would come fr. the EU. (MENL 1/27)

PC passes the FY 2000 budget, its 1st balanced budget. It, however, does not include any funding to implement Arafat's promise to increase the salaries of more than 100,000 civil servants. (al-Quds 1/27 in WNC 2/1; MENL 1/30)

The UN names Swedish arms control expert Hans Blix as head of the new UN Monitoring, Verification, and Inspection Commission for Iraq (UNMOVIC). Baghdad says it will not allow UNMOVIC inspectors into Iraq. (NYT, WP 1/27; MM, WP 1/28; MEI 2/11)