Monday, September 15, 1997

Secy. of State Albright ends her trip to the Middle East with an unscheduled stop in Beirut, where she calls on all foreign powers to get out of Lebanon. On her way home, she acknowledges that the situation in the region "is probably even worse than I thought"; says that if she can't make a difference, she will concentrate on other international issues--"I can't be occupied with this full time." (RL 9/15 in WNC 9/16; CSM, NYT, WP 9/16; SA 9/17 in WNC 9/19; PR 9/19)

Egyptian pres. Mubarak receives Arafat in Alexandria. (MENA, RE 9/15 in WNC 9/15)

EU FMs meet in Brussels, agree to give PA additional $4.6 m. to help cover administrative deficits incurred due to the closure, call on Israel to release tax money. The Jordan-EU association agmt. is not signed because of because of technical differences, however the EU agrees to give Jordan $11.4 m. in special finanical aid to help "meet the needs of the most disadvantaged sections" of Jordan's population. (RJ 9/24 in WNC 9/26)

Israel turns over $35 m. in tax money owed the PA, lifts the internal closure on PA-controlled cities. Palestinians are still barred fr. entering Israel. (WT 9/16) (see 9/14)

In Ras al-Amud, MKs representing Molodet, the National Religious Party, Tsomet, Gesher visit settlers to express their support. At the site, riot police break up protest by 40 Peace Now mbrs., MK Yael Dayan, Meretz leader Yossi Sarid, Orient House's Faisal Husseini. (MM 9/15; NYT, WP 9/16; RJ 9/16 in WNC 9/17; WJW 9/18; MEI 9/26) (see 9/13)

Iranian pres. Muhammad Khatami says he is ready for talks with the U.S. only if they are based on mututal respect, noninterference in Iranian affairs. (WT 9/17)

Jordanian cabinet approves government decision to joint the Chemical Weapons Ban Treaty, which took effect 4/97. (al-Ra'i 9/15 in WNC 9/16)