Wednesday, April 7, 1999

Arafat meets with Japanese FM Masahiko Komura in Tokyo. (WT 4/8)

Muslim-Christian tensions in Nazareth continue, with 2 shops, 1 owned by a Christian, the other by a Muslim, firebombed overnight. (MM, NYT, WT 4/8; NYT 4/13; WP 4/15; JP 4/16; MEI 4/23) (see 4/5)

In London, Frank Ricciardone, U.S. special rep. for transition in Iraq, oversees mtg. of 11 Iraqi opposition groups comprising the Iraqi National Congress (INC) Executive Council, which has not met in 3 yrs. due to internal bickering. Participants to the 2 day mtg., aimed at forming a transitional government in n. and s. Iraq that would be backed by U.S. military aid, elect a 7 mbr. "interim collective leadership," which plans to convene the INC General Assembly by 7/7 to elect a permanent leadership. A 5 mbr. contact group is also formed to lobby INC factions that boycotted this London mtg. to participate in the 7/7 session. The INC is 1 of 7 organizations eligible to receive U.S. military aid for the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. (NYT 4/8; MM 4/9)