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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan

                     June 2, 1995, V3, #102
All the News the Big Guys Missed

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Compact Disc Prepared with Full Israeli Topography Maps

A new CD with the full spectrum of Israeli topographical maps (in scales of 1:50,000 and 1:100,000) is being prepared by the Mapping Center and contains accompanying text. It can be used in civil engineering, architecture, construction planning or electric power planning.

Syrians and Israelis Target Peace Process

By Kim Reid (Cairo) and David Gollust (Washington)

Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak has ended a surprise visit to Syria for talks with Syrian President Hafez al Assad. Diplomats say the meeting apparently focused on the peace process between Syria and Israel.

Rumors of a possible visit to Syria by the Egyptian president had been flying for months. They started shortly after the leaders of Egypt, Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian authority met at the Cairo summit earlier this year.

Diplomats in Cairo say the meeting caused serious repercussions in the Syrian government. They say Assad felt excluded, and somewhat threatened by the four-way peace meeting in Cairo.

Ever since then, diplomats here say, Assad has stopped briefing the Egyptians on Syria's negotiations with the Israelis or the Americans, thereby lessening Egypt's authority as a key negotiator in the Middle East peace process.

Mubarak's trip is intended to sort out any such misunderstandings, just before Israel and Syria are expected to go back to the negotiating table in earnest.

The Egyptian leader's trip also comes in advance of scheduled visits to the region by US Secretary of State Warren Christopher and Assistant Secretary Dennis Ross. Western diplomats say Christopher will visit Syria, Israel, Jordan and Egypt in another attempt to speed up the slow-moving Middle East peace process.

One diplomat says the Mubarak-Assad talks represent Egypt's bid to stay in control of the peace process, by staying informed. Egyptian diplomats have countered that argument in the past, saying Egypt will always play a pivotal role in negotiations, because of its longstanding political strength and diplomatic connections throughout the Arab world.

Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres -- wrapping up a two-day visit to Washington -- has called on Assad to meet publicly with Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin to help advance the bilateral peace process. Peres believes such a meeting is needed to build confidence among Israelis that Assad is serious about a peace accord.

Peres says US/brokered closed-door talks between Israeli and Syrian officials have made progress on security arrangements that would accompany a peace accord. But he says the time has come for the leaders of Israel and Syria to meet "in full daylight" to air their differences -- but also to persuade public opinion on both sides that the peace efforts are sincere.

Addressing the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, Peres said he regretted that Syria has been slow in providing the needed "reassurances" about its intentions -- and that it is time to move the peace efforts out into the open:

"if you want peace, stop being shy. Let us face it. And I think time has arrived. And this is not just a professional need, this is a psychological requirement. Because we have to convince the Syrians that we are serious about peace. The Syrians have to convince the Israelis that they are serious of peace."

Peres said last week the Golan Heights -- which Israel captured in 1967 -- is Syrian territory which would have to be returned under a peace agreement. But polls indicate Israelis are skeptical about Syria's intentions and most now oppose handing back all of the strategic Heights, which would involve the dismantling of numerous Israeli settlements.

Peres said Israel has shown it is capable of taking such action to achieve peace -- a reference to its pullout from the Sinai more than a decade ago that involved uprooting settlements. The foreign minister also made clear Israel would give up its self-declared "security zone" in southern Lebanon -- if an adequate border security arrangement could be achieved:

"We don't have any territorial claim on Lebanese land. There is an international border that we respect and they respect and, eventually, we shall go back there. Then again, we don't have any inclination to play a role in Lebanese politics. We tried and we failed and we don't want to repeat it. The only thing that we want is to introduce a security arrangement that will enable us to leave the Lebanese land."

Syrian-Israeli military talks are to resume in Washington later this month.

IDF Sources Predict Redeployment will Begin November 1 According to recently devised IDF plans, the army will begin its withdrawal and redeployment in the territories by November 1.

A top military official said the date is based on the assumption that Israel and the Palestinians will complete the negotiations on elections by July 1. Following talks this week in Cairo and Tel Aviv, it appears that the July 1 deadline will be met.

The two sides reportedly agreed in Cairo that a Palestinian television station would be established in the West Bank town of Ramallah.

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