Monday, December 2, 1996

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) convenes in Lisbon. 54 mbr.-states attend. PM Netanyahu says that Israel will expand settlement construction in the West Bank; refuses Arafat's request to meet on sidelines of conference (Arafat does not attend mtg.); does meet with U.S. VP Al Gore, French Pres. Jacques Chirac. (MM 12/2; ITV 12/2, IDF Radio 12/3 in WNC 12/4; MM 12/3, 12/5)

PA releases Hamas's Shaykh Ahmad Nimr after a 9-mo. detention in Gaza Central Prison. (MEI, PR 12/13) (see 3/5)

Iranian FM `Ali Akbar Velayati arrives in Syria for talks on bilateral relations. Israel says it is concerned by the visit. (IRNA 12/2 in WNC 12/3; SATN 12/2, VIRI 12/3 in WNC 12/4; MA 12/5 in WNC 12/6)