Newsletter : 5fax0203.txt
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>PD Feb. 3, 1995, V3, #24
Summit Leaders Meet in Cairo
By Laurie Kassman (Cairo)
After five hours of talks, the Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak,
Jordan's King Hussein, PLO Chairman Yasir Arafat and Israeli Prime
Minister Yitzhak Rabin issued a three-page statement underlining
their commitment to the peace process, affirming their intentions
to end the violence that threatens to derail that process and to
promote economic development. The leaders have set up a series of
meetings to break the deadlock in Palestinian-Israeli negotiations
and agree to meet again as needed.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Moussa says the five hours of
high-level talks could not solve all the problems but they did
salvage the faltering peace talks between Israel and the
Palestinians. "I believe that the talks and the process, especially
the Israeli Palestinian process, is back on track."
To push the process forward, the leaders agreed the
Palestinian-Israeli negotiations will resume Monday in Cairo to
deal with the framework for Palestinian elections. Rabin and
Arafat are to meet next Thursday at the Erez Crossing to discuss
problems still blocking their negotiations. The foreign ministers
of the four summit leaders will continue their work in Washington
on Feb.12 and again in Amman, where they will also talk about the
Palestinian refugee issue.
Moussa says the summit leaders of Egypt, Jordan, Israel and PLO
also spent a lot of time on the thorny issue of expanding Jewish
settlements in the West Bank.
"It was the subject of a long discussion this evening. We insist
that the issue of settlements be dealt with in accordance with the
letter and the spirit, not only of the peace process and peace
documents but international law."
He says negotiations will have to continue on this and other issues
that have become stumbling blocks on the road to peace.
"But at least we opened the door to discuss all the problems that
have been mentioned, that have been enumerated, that have been
discussed, including settlements, the violence, the implementation
or non-implementation of the accords, all those things."
In their joint declaration, the summit leaders pledged to put an
end to violence that has marred the peace process. They also
supported Mubarak's call for a mutually-verifiable weapons-free
zone in the Middle East. And they promised to increase economic
cooperation, promote investment and improve education levels in the
Israel Ambassadorial Confirmation Hearing Starts
By David Gollust (Washington, D.C.)
The US Senate has begun consideration of the nomination of Martin
Indyk to be the next ambassador to Israel. Confirmation appears
certain despite the nominee's unusual background.
If confirmed, Indyk would become the first Jewish US ambassador to
Israel -- the newest US citizen ever to hold an ambassadorial post
-- and quite likely the first envoy ever to have served in another
country's intelligence service.
The 43-year-old Australian-born academic served as a Middle East
analyst for that country's intelligence arm before moving to the
United States in 1982.
He held senior positions with AIPAC -- the most influential
pro-Israel lobbying group -- before setting up his own Middle East
policy institute in 1985. And he became an American citizen in
early 1993 -- only days before being named by President Clinton as
director for Middle East issues on the National Security Council.
Indyk's nomination is the first to be considered by the Senate
Foreign Relations Committee since the new Congress convened, and
committee members promise to act quickly to fill the Israel post
which has been vacant since August.
In his testimony, Indyk said he would be going to Tel Aviv at
a critical time when Israelis -- reeling from terrorist attacks
-- are beginning to question the value of the accord with the
He said both Israel and the Palestinian Authority face an uphill
struggle against extremists operating from their respective
territory -- but that PLO leader Yasir Arafat, especially, must be
seen as making a maximum effort to curb terror:
"It is very important, I think, that we see a 100 per cent effort.
And it's very important at this particular moment when Israelis are
beginning to question the viability of their partnership with the
PLO, that Chairman Arafat demonstrate, clearly, consistently,
vigorously that he is doing all he can to control the terrorist
activities in areas under his control."
Indyk voiced strong opposition to the sentiment widely held among
majority Republicans in Congress that the US Embassy in Israel be
moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Noting that Israel and the PLO themselves agreed to defer the
sensitive Jerusalem question, Indyk said a US move on the embassy
now would "explode" the peace process and put the United States
"out of business" with regard to Mideast diplomacy.
The Indyk nomination has drawn some criticism from American-Arab
groups. And one former US ambassador to Israel -- William Harrop
-- says it is a "profound mistake" to name someone so
closely-associated with the Israeli lobby to the post.
However, no visible opposition has emerged among senators, and
confirmation could come within the next two weeks.
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