Sunday, August 25, 1996

In response to a letter fr. Arafat asking him to "save the peace process," Israeli Pres. Ezer Weizman invites Arafat to meet him in Israel, says he would postpone mtg. if PM Netanyahu agreed to meet Arafat himself within 10 days. PM Netanyahu reluctantly endorses Weizman-Arafat mtg., says he will meet with Arafat soon. (CSM, NYT, WP 8/26; WT 8/28; WJW 8/29; MM, PR 8/30; JP 8/31; MM 9/2; MEI 9/6; JP 9/7)

In Amman, Japanese FM Ikeda signs memorandum of understanding with Jordan under which Japan will grant Jordan $7 m. to finance building new King Hussein bridge, travelers terminal once the sovereignty/legal status of West Bank has been determined. Japan has given Jordan $340 m. in aid, loans in the past yr. (RJ 8/25 in WNC 8/29; JT 9/14 in WNC 9/19)

Israel moves first 11 of 298 mobile homes into 2 West Bank settlements. (WP 8/26; PR 8/30)

2d round of Lebanese voting is held in n. Lebanon. Observers report sharp drop in electoral abuses after opposition charged widespread fraud in 1st round 8/18. Hizballah does not run a slate; all 4 al-Jama` al-Islamiyya candidates are defeated. Most of the 28 elected are progovernment, although the 1 Syrian Ba'th party candidate loses. (CSM 8/26; MM 8/28; RL 8/28 in WNC 8/30; MEI 9/6)

As Kurdish fighting in n. Iraq enters its 9th day, Baghdad comes out in support of KDP, accuses Iran of manipulating the PUK to destabilize the north. (MM 8/27) (see 8/22)