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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan

                     March 30, 1995, V3, #58
All the News the Big Guys Missed

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Russians Have a Secret Mideast Peace Plan

By Kim Reid (Cairo)

Russia's Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev says he has some new ways to get the Middle East peace process moving forward. Kozyrev shared his thoughts with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Foreign Minister Amr Moussa in Cairo, his first stop on a Middle East tour.

The Russian foreign minister says there is what he calls a "smell" -- a hint -- of new ideas in the Middle East peace process. He declined to elaborate.

After meeting with the Egyptian officials, Kozyrev said only that Egypt and his country are on the right track with regard to their position on all bilateral peace negotiations in the region, and that Russia is well-equipped to give a push to the peace talks.

Kozyrev says US influence alone cannot salvage the stalled multilateral peace talks. Kozyrev adds that he supports an unlimited extension of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty or NPT. Egypt, an NPT signatory, demands that Israel sign the treaty, or at least agree to a timeframe for international monitoring of its nuclear facilities.

Experts believe Israel has the capacity and equipment to assemble an estimated 200 nuclear warheads.

Kozyrev says he hopes to have what he calls a frank and direct exchange with Israel on the issue after a stop in Damascus.

IDF officer and Israeli policeman killed in Palestinian terrorist attack in Gaza Strip

An IDF officer and an Israeli policeman were killed Wednesday afternoon, and two IDF soldiers were seriously wounded, in a Palestinian terrorist attack on an Israeli convoy traveling to Netzarim in the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli convoy, comprised of a border police vehicle, a bus of Israeli settlers and an IDF command vehicle, was traveling toward Netzarim when a Palestinian truck coming in the opposite direction veered into the lead Israeli vehicle. The truck's Palestinian driver jumped out and began shooting. Israeli soldiers returned fire, killing the driver.

Rabin Leaves for Unexpected Visit to Germany; Speculation Trip is Linked to Ron Arad

Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, accompanied by his military advisor IDF Maj. General Danny Yatom, has left Israel on an unexpected official visit to Germany.

According to the report, there is speculation that the trip is tied to the case of missing Israel Air Force navigator Captain Ron Arad. German officials confirmed that Chancellor Helmut Kohl will meet with Rabin in Bonn.

Officials in Jerusalem said the two leaders will discuss bilateral issues, the peace process and Israel's ties with the European Union.

Foreign Minister Shimon Peres said the meeting is not necessarily connected to Arad, but said the issue is always raised by Israel in meetings with foreign leaders throughout the world. Nevertheless, the Foreign Minister expressed great appreciation for German efforts on this matter.

Peres on Jerusalem: Issue is Closed Politically, but Open Religiously

Foreign Minister Shimon Peres said Hamas will only be allowed to participate in the Palestinian elections if it renounces racism and violence and recognizes the State of Israel. Peres was speaking Tuesday to the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

The Foreign Minister said he made clear recently to Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasir Arafat that Israel has no intention of compromising on the issue of Jerusalem - whether the matter is brought up now or at a later stage.

Peres said Arab residents of east Jerusalem will have the right to vote in the Palestinian elections but will not be able to run for office. "We must distinguish between the Arab's religious and political attitudes about Jerusalem," Peres said, explaining that most Arabs speak of Jerusalem in religious terms while the Palestinians refer to the city in political terms.

The Foreign Minister emphasized that the issue of Jerusalem is closed politically, but open religiously. Regarding the possibility of a Palestinian state, Peres said the current process does not necessarily lead in that direction. "Personally, I prefer (Palestinian) confederation with Jordan."

The Foreign Minister said efforts by the Palestinian Authority to disarm Hamas and the Islamic Jihad have succeeded in Jericho but not in the Gaza Strip.

Dozens of Arabs to Study in Israeli Courses

Dozens of participants from Arab countries and Moslem lands in Asia, which do not have diplomatic relations with Israel, have participated so far this year in study courses organized by the Israeli Foreign Ministry's international cooperation department.

About 600 Egyptian students took professional courses, and others came from Morocco, Tunisia, the Palestinian Authority, Pakistan, Indonesia and Malaysia. Next year's courses will include participants from Jordan and Arab Gulf countries.

In 1994, a total of 3,214 students from abroad took part in 113 courses conducted by the department in Israel. In addition, 111 travelling courses were sent to other countries. More than 140 countries are involved in Israel's international cooperation program.

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