Wednesday, February 3, 1999

Arafat meets with Secy. Albright. In press conference afterward, he says that he cannot discuss the issue of declaring a Palestinian state. (MM, NYT, WT 2/4)

U.S. denounces Israeli media campaign begun 1/17 to portray Arafat as coddling "terrorists" by claiming that he released Palestinian prisoners who killed Americans. U.S. says Israel's claims are baseless; thinks media campaign is an attempt to detract fr. Arafat's visit to Washington and fr. the positive publicity Arafat earned during Clinton's 12/14 trip to Gaza. (al-Quds 2/3 in WNC 2/8; WJW, WP 2/4; MM 2/8; JP 2/12)

66 congressmen introduce legislation calling on Pres. Clinton to oppose recognition to any unilaterally declared Palestinian state. (MM 2/8)

Israeli pres. Ezer Weizman reduces the sentences of 8 Israelis convicted of killing or plotting to kill Palestinians, 5 Palestinians, 2 of whom were convicted of killing Palestinian collaborators. (MM, NYT, WP 2/4; al-Dustur 2/4 in WNC 2/8; WJW 2/11; JP 2/12)

Syrian delegation arrives in Russia for 11 days of talks on military-technical cooperation, acquisition of hardware. (Interfax 2/3 in WNC 2/4; al-Quds al-Arabi 2/3, Interfax, ITAR-TASS 2/5 in WNC 2/8; see also MM 1/26) (see 11/18)

UN says it will no longer allow Americans, Britons to work in its humanitarian program in Iraq because Baghdad refuses to ensure their safety. (NYT, WP, WT 2/4)