Friday, February 19, 1999

U.S. admits it worked for mos. to help Turkey arrest Ocalan, whom the U.S. considers a terrorist; say U.S. used diplomatic pressure, intelligence gathering to force nations to refuse him sanctuary, tracked him in Nairobi but did not have "direct involvement" in his capture. Turkish PM Bulent Ecevit says Turkey received the final tip from another country that he would not identify. Israel's Mossad issues public letter denying involvement. Kurdish protests continue in Europe, Canada, the Middle East. (MM 2/19; AFP, RL 2/19, al-Dustur 2/20, IRNA 2/21 in WNC 2/22; MIL 2/19 in WNC 2/24; NYT, WP, WT 2/20; NYT, WP 2/21; MM 2/22; MED TV 2/25 in WNC 2/26; PR 2/26)

With a private audience with Pope John Paul II on sidelines of UN conference in Rome (see 2/18), PA head Yasir Arafat begins international tour to confer with international leaders on the post-Oslo peace process, whether to unilaterally declare a state when the Oslo interim period ends on 5/4. (WT 2/20; MENA 2/20 in WNC 2/22)

Israel's Jerusalem Post reports that 22 new parties have been formed since early elections were declared 12/21, bring total number of political parties to 56. (JP 2/19)

Lebanese Chamber of Deputies speaker Nabih Birri meets with Hizballah secy. gen. Hassan Nasrallah to discuss coordination against Israel in light of Arnun occupation. (RL 2/19 in WNC 2/22) (see 2/18)