Thursday, July 15, 1999

In Washington, PM Barak, Pres. Clinton hold private 21/2-hr. mtg., without aides or note-takers, to discuss framework for resuming Israeli-Arab negotiations. Barak reportedly tells Clinton his conditions for peace agmt. with Syria, saying Israel would never return to the pre-1967 borders (as Syria demands), and promises to implement the Wye agmt. with the PA, but says that "most" Jewish settlers would remain in the West Bank and Gaza. Publicly, Barak urges the U.S. to reduce its role in negotiations and in enforcing existing agmts., arguing that Israel, the PA have to work out their differences on their own, specifically asking the U.S. to end CIA's role in monitoring PA adherence to Wye security requirements. Clinton agrees that the U.S. has become "overly intrusive in the Middle East dialogue." This evening, the Clintons and Baraks have private dinner at Camp David. (CSM, MM 7/15; Xinhua 7/15 in WNC 7/16; al-Quds 7/15 in WNC 7/19; MM, NYT, WP, WT 7/16; NYT, WP 7/17; NYT 7/21; WJW 7/22; CSM 7/28; MEI 7/30)

In Geneva, the signatories to the Fourth Geneva Convention meet at the UN's request to discuss Israel's human rights violations and settlement activity in the occupied territories, but adjourn after only 30 mins., with no debate, after approving a statement declaring settlements illegal. Australia, Canada, Israel, the U.S. boycott. (LAW, WT 7/15; al-Ayyam 7/17, Interfax 7/20 in WNC 7/21; al-Ahram 7/18 in WNC 7/19; JP 7/23; MEI 7/30) (see 7/13; Doc. A???)

Arafat, Egyptian FM Musa confer on the peace process in Helsinki, where Arafat is on an official visit. Finland currently holds the EU presidency. (MENA 7/15 in WNC 7/16; MENA 7/16 in WNC 7/19)