Friday, May 16, 1997

U.S. special envoy Dennis Ross extends his stay in the region an extra day to follow up on Palestinian Authority (PA) complaints regarding U.S. mediation (see 5/15); meets separately with PA head Yasir Arafat, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, PA Local Government M Saeb Erakat, Arafat chief dep. Mahmud Abbas. Israel, PA say that they are no closer to resuming negotiations. (AFP, al-Dustur 5/16 in WNC 5/19; NYT, WP, WT 5/17; MM 5/19; MM 5/20; ITV 5/17 in WNC 5/22)

EU special envoy Miguel Moratinos says that U.S. special envoy Ross's failed mission to the region highlights the need for a larger European role in the peace process. (AFP 5/16 in WNC 5/19)

At Secy. of State Madeleine Albright request, Israeli FM David Levy comes to Washington to discuss the peace process. (MM, NYT, WT 5/16; ITV 5/16 in WNC 5/19; MM 5/19)

Israeli amb. to the U.S. Eliahu Ben-Elissar accuses the U.S. of spying on the Israeli embassy; says that PM Netanyahu should "strenuously object" to U.S. wiretapping of embassy phones, which, he claims, is how the U.S. obtained information on Mega, an alleged Israeli spy. Officially, Israel says that Mega is Mossad's nickname for the CIA desk officer for Israel affairs--a legitimate intelligence contact. The U.S. says only that the case is still open. (MM 5/16; YA 5/16 in WNC 5/19; WP, WT 5/17) (see 5/6, 5/8)