Newsletter : 4fax1213.txt
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>PD Dec. 13, 1994, V2, #223
Rabin Visits Japan: Tomorrow South Korea
By Pamela Burton (Tokyo)
Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin Monday became the first-ever
Israeli leader to visit Japan. The historic trip kicked off with
the signing of new agreements to expand two-way cultural and
Rabin wasted no time in getting down to business with Tokyo. Just
a few hours after arriving, the Israeli leader sat down with his
Japanese counterpart Tomiichi Murayama.
The Japanese prime minister pledged his country's continuing
support for the Middle East peace process and for Palestinian
self-rule. The meeting ended with the signing of a new agreement
aimed at boosting bilateral exchanges of scientific and
A new cultural accord was also signed. That agreement would
expand exchanges among academics, students and artists in the two
countries. Rabin also received congratulations from Murayama for
winning this year's Peace Prize.
The Israeli leader is hoping to reap the dividends of Mideast
peace by boosting business and trade ties with Japan. Past
economic ties had been strained due to Japan's heavy reliance on
Arab oil sources, which made Japanese officials and trading firms
reluctant to break the Arab boycott on doing business with Israel.
With that threat now gone, however, Rabin is courting Japanese
investors. The Israeli leader has brought with him economic
advisors and executives and is slated to meet with Japanese
business leaders later this week.
Rabin is also calling for greater government aid to help promote
the peace process in both the Palestinian-controlled territories
and in Jordan. Japan has so far pledged $10 million to build
housing for the new Palestinian police force.
On Wednesday, Rabin will kick off the second leg of his East Asian
trip by traveling to South Korea. That visit will also be a first
for any Israeli leader.
Syria Warns About Israel's Attempt to Conquer Arab World
By Kim Reid (Cairo)
Syria has warned Arab oil ministers to guard against Israeli
attempts to control the Middle East marketplace, The Syrian oil
minister made his comments in Cairo to a meeting of the 10 Arab
petroleum exporting countries.
Syria may be opening channels with Israeli diplomats in Washington,
but here in the Middle East it is still talking tough about Israel.
Syria's Oil Minister Nader Nabulsi urged 10 oil-producing Arab
states to confront Israel's regional economic aims. His views
are shared by many conservative Arab political factions. They
believe the Middle East peace process is Israel's way of conquering
the Arab world through business.
Western diplomats say Israeli leaders have inadvertently encouraged
this view. Israel has told its citizens that the security
sacrifices of the peace process will be worth the economic gains
made through Arab trade.
One Israeli diplomat says those words may reassure Israelis. But
they are disturbing to Arab countries who feel they will be the
first victims of an Israeli economic expansion.
PLO Leader's Wife Reportedly Denies Arafat Married Before
Rumors that PLO Chairman Yasir Arafat was previously married
are being denied by Arafat's wife, Suha. She told Cairo reporters
that the reports are false and designed to tarnish her husband's
"These news are fabricated and aimed at distorting the image of
Abu Ammar," she said, referring to Arafat's nickname. The story
appeared Sunday in the Saudi-owned newspaper Asharq al-Awsat.
After Suha announced Friday that she was pregnant, Haaretz
published an interview with a woman claiming to be Arafat's first
The Israeli daily said Najla Yassin, Arafat's former office
manager, had claimed that she and the PLO chief lived together for
18 years until 1985 but had no children. Yassin denied the Haaretz
She insisted that her relationship with Arafat has been one of
Palestinian fighter and leader, not wife and husband.
Yassin said of Arafat's wife "She's like my child. I've known her
since she was a small girl as I've had a good relationship with her
Arafat married Suha al-Tawil, his personal secretary, in 1991. The
PLO office in Gaza declined comment on the Haaretz interview.
Israel Sends Emergency Aid to Djibouti
Israel sent emergency medical aid Thursday to flood-ravaged
Djibouti. In recent days, over 100 people were killed and thousands
have been left homeless as a result of terrible floods that have
struck the country, located in the Horn of Africa. Most of the
country's water supplies have been polluted.
Djibouti is seeking assistance from the international community,
and reportedly sent a request to Israel's mission to the United
Ya'akov Canaan, head of the Foreign Ministry's Africa Department,
accompanied the aid shipment and transferred it to Djibouti
Djibouti, a member of the Arab League, is a nation of less than
half a million people, most of whom are Muslim.
Israel and Djibouti have no formal diplomatic relations.
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