Newsletter : 5fax0927.txt
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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan
Sept. 27, 1995, V3, #176
All the News the Big Guys Missed
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Arafat Tries for Executive Committee's Blessing
By David Gollust (VOA-Cairo)
PLO leader Yasir Arafat is in Tunis as he continues an effort to
line up support behind the accord with Israel expanding Palestinian
self rule, to be signed in Washington tomorrow. Arab criticism of
the deal continues, some of it from within PLO ranks. Arafat went
to Tunis, where the PLO still maintains its headquarters -- to seek
the endorsement of the organization's Executive Committee for the
accord with Israel.
The committee is the PLO's highest decision-making body and
includes factions hostile to Arafat and the expanded autonomy
agreement. But the 18-member panel appeared certain to support
the document with some reservations -- as did Arafat's cabinet in
Gaza late Monday night.
PLO sources said two members of the cabinet, which runs the
Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Jericho, abstained to
show their displeasure over security arrangements in Hebron under
the next phase of autonomy.
While Israel is committed to withdrawing troops from the major
West Bank towns under the accord, it will have a continued
security presence in Hebron to protect Jewish settlements which
will remain in place there.
The self-rule agreement has been condemned by hardline Palestinian
factions and some Arab governments notably Syria. Damascus
continued its criticism Tuesday, with the government newspaper
Al-Baath saying the firmness of Syria's approach to peace talks
with Israel will not be affected by what it described as Arafat's
Libya has attacked Arafat as a capitulationist and UN refugee
officials here say there are signs the government of Muammar
Gadhafi may be preparing to expel more Palestinian workers in an
attempt to embarrass the PLO chief.
The PLO leader has gotten enthusiastic support for the agreement
from Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak and Jordan's King Hussein,
both of whom will join Arafat at tomorrow's White House signing
What will Thursday's Ceremony Bring?
By Deborah Tate (VOA White House)
The Clinton administration is hoping to keep the momentum going in
the Middle East peace process following tomorrow's signing at the
White House of an Israeli-PLO accord extending Palestinian
self-rule into the West Bank. President Clinton will use the
occasion of the signing ceremony to meet separately with Middle
East leaders who will be attending the event in an effort to keep
the peace process on track.
While the White House will be celebrating the West Bank accord as
"a milestone" on the road to Middle East peace during tomorrow's
ceremony, administration officials are mindful that tough issues
remain along that road.
White House spokesman Mike McCurry says the working sessions with
the Middle East leaders are not expected to result in any
breakthroughs, but are aimed at keeping the peace process moving
along. The White House appears so encouraged by the progress toward
Middle East peace, that McCurry says the administration looks
forward to the pace of the peace process accelerating.
He says the administration also hopes to use the occasion of
Thursday's signing ceremony to press international donors to make
good on their pledges to the region -- pledges made as far back as
China Supplies Nuclear Help to Iran
By Gil Butler (VOA-Beijing)
China has denied a news report that it has supplied technology to
Iran for producing weapons-grade nuclear material. The report, in
the British newspaper the "Sunday Telegraph," said China supplied
the equipment after Russia stopped delivery of similar technology.
The report says Chinese technicians are constructing or have
constructed a system for enriching uranium at an Iranian research
plant northwest of Tehran.
Iran has repeatedly denied it plans to build nuclear weapons, but
the newspaper report described the Chinese technology as the final
piece in Iran's nuclear jigsaw puzzle -- a significant
contribution to Iranian attempts to produce nuclear warheads. It
quoted experts as saying Iran could have nuclear weapons within
At the regular Chinese Foreign Ministry briefing in Beijing,
spokesman Chen Jian said the Sunday Telegraph report is groundless.
He says China has never exported any sensitive technology or
equipment concerning reprocessing, enrichment of uranium or
production of heavy water and that the report is actually
Palestinians are Being Expelled from Libya
By David Gollust (VOA-Cairo)
UN officials in Cairo say Libya is apparently moving to expel more
Palestinian workers from the country to protest the new Israeli/PLO
A spokesman here for the UN high commissioner for refugees says the
agency has been told at least 1,500 Palestinians have been expelled
from Libya and are on their way to the main border crossing with
He said only a handful had actually arrived at the border post.
There has been no official comment from Libya, or confirmation of
news reports that all 30,000 Palestinians in Libya may be affected.
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