Wednesday, September 1, 1999

After 2-wk. delay, U.S. Secy. of State Albright arrives in Morocco on her 1st tour of the Middle East since the 5/17 Israeli elections. State Dept. bills the tour as a "taking stock" trip, with no specific goals. (WP 9/1; NYT, WJW, WP, WT 9/2; MM 9/3)

In Jerusalem, Erakat, Sher continue prisoner release talks. The PA is now demanding that Israel release 400 prisoners, while Israel is saying that it would release no more than 350. Midday, Barak announces that, in his opinion, the talks have ended in failure. Later, he allows talks to continue, apologizes to Arafat by phone for the statement. Arafat cuts short a trip to Holland to go to Alexandria to meet with Mubarak. At the end of the day, Erakat says that the sides have agreed to begin final status talks on 9/10. (MM 9/1; MENA 9/1 in WNC 9/2; CSM, NYT, WP, WT 9/2; al-Istiqlal 9/2 in WNC 9/9)

In Damascus, Jordanian, Syrian trade officials agree to expand the list of tax-exempt goods traded btwn. their countries, increase overall volume of trade. (Petra-JNA 9/1 in WNC 9/2)

In s. Lebanon, 1 Hizballah mbr. is fatally wounded by IDF shelling. (VOL 9/2 in WNC 9/3)