Thursday, June 4, 1998

In Palermo, Italy, 2-day Euro-Mediterranean mtg. (attended by 15 EU FMs, 12 Mediterranean FMs) closes. This is an ad hoc mtg., outside the normal cycle of "Barcelona" conferences, held to set priorities for preparation for the 4/99 Euro-Mediterranean conference planned for Stuttgart, Germany. The Barcelona process focuses on 3 areas for Mediterranean cooperation, unification: politics and security; economics and finance; social and cultural issues. The last mtg. was held in 3/97. (RJ 6/4, SA 6/5 in WNC 6/8; JTV 6/5 in WNC 6/9; JP 6/13)

Jordan, U.S. end their annual 1-mo. joint military maneuvers in the Jordanian desert. (JTV 6/4 in WNC 6/8)

Palestinian High Court orders PA police to release Hamas spokesman `Abd al-Aziz Rantisi, who was arrested 4/9. PA police refuse to comply. (PCHR press release 6/4)

After 2 days of closed door briefings, Richard Butler, exec. chmn. of the UN Special Comm. (UNSCOM) in charge of Iraqi weapons inspections, gives the UN Security Council (UNSC) a "road map" of missing information UNSCOM needs before it can decide whether to lift sanctions; says Iraq could fulfill obligations by 10/98 if it continues its recent cooperative attitude. Iraq rejects agenda as nonstarter. (WP 6/5; NYT, WP 6/6; MM 6/26)