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                     Publisher\Editor Don Canaan
                       Nov. 27, 1995, V3, #214
All the News the Big Guys Missed

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Peace with Jordan has resulted in new joint road maps between the two countries, produced by a European mapmaker, on a scale of 1:500,000. They are printed in English and meant mostly for tourists who rent cars and visit both countries. The price is 22 New Israeli Shekels (approx. $7). The map also appears in Hebrew, and costs a little more.

Israel, European Union and Arabs Meet in Sunny Spain

By Laurie Kassman (VOA-Cairo)

Ministers from the 15-member European Union and 12 Arab states ringing the Mediterranean basin are meeting in Barcelona today to look at ways to forge closer cooperation and deal with their political, economic, and cultural gaps. The states will also look at security issues and the impact of the Middle East peace process.

The group expects to launch the Euro-Mediterranean partnership in an effort to compete with the North American and Asian trading blocs. But first they have to bridge their political, economic and cultural gaps. The Barcelona conference represents a region from Finland in the north to the Palestinian entity in Gaza and the West Bank.

In a sign of some progress in the peace process, the Barcelona meeting brings together for the first time Syrian, Lebanese and Israeli ministers at a major international conference. It is not at all sure they will meet each other, but in the past Syria and Lebanon have boycotted any meetings Israel attended.

Egypt has complained about Libya's absence, calling the exclusion a grave mistake. The EU says the continuing embargo against Libya includes a diplomatic boycott. Libya is suspected of involvement in the 1988 bombing of an American airliner over Scotland and the 1989 bombing of a French airliner over Niger.

The idea behind the Euro-Mediterranean partnership is to forge closer cooperation to ease political and economic strains on both sides. European neighbors have long complained about the non-stop flow of economic refugees from North Africa and the lack of fiscal reforms that would attract foreign investors to build industries and keep the labor force at home.

North African and Middle Eastern states want better access to the European marketplace. The group will be looking at creating financial mechanisms for mobilizing more private sector investments on both sides.
The EU has already pledged about $6 billion during the next five years for education and infrastructure.

Evacuation of Nablus Nears

By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)

Israel and the Palestinian Authority took another step Sunday in their handover of West Bank cities, but it was not a smooth one. Israeli forces began to dismantle their headquarters in the large West Bank city of Nablus. The city of 500,000 is to go over to Palestinian control in the middle of next month.

About 10 senior Palestinian police officers arrived in the Nablus area Sunday from Jericho. They are to open a joint headquarters with the Israelis just outside of town -- as the two sides have already done outside Jenin and Qalqilya.

But there was a dispute over where the headquarters should be, and the Palestinian officers refused to enter the compound the Israelis had started to build. The dispute was referred to a higher level to be resolved.

During the next month, Israel is to complete most of its initial redeployment in the West Bank, giving the Palestinians control of a total of seven cities and part of another, plus partial control of 450 villages. That process is to be followed by Palestinian elections in January and more Israeli withdrawals.

Two More Quake Tremors Shake Eilat

Another tremor measuring 4.5 on the Richter scale shook Eilat Friday morning, the third earthquake in three days. Thursday night, an earthquake lasting 20 seconds and measuring 5.4 on the Richter scale struck the region at 8:22 p.m.

The quake caused electrical disruptions throughout most of the city. Telephone service was also cut off. Thursday night's tremor did not cause any serious damage in the city, but it did widen fractures caused by the first earthquake in hotel buildings. In addition, no injuries were reported.

Iraq Considered Using Biological Weapons Against Israel

U.N. inspectors in Iraq recovered secret documents submitted to President Saddam Hussein on the eve of the Gulf War that include a proposal to attack Israel with biological weapons.

This is the first time that an Iraqi document has been discovered that specifically deals with the possible use of weapons of mass destruction against Israel. Recent discoveries of biological weapon development in Iraq and surface to surface missiles caused Rolf Ekeus, the chairman of the U.N. committee monitoring Iraqi compliance with Security Council resolutions, to note that the weapons constitute a danger to the entire region. The classified documents were discovered last August following the defection of Saddam Hussein's son-in-law Hussein Kamel. During their stay in Iraq, U.N. inspectors reportedly succeeded in obtaining more than 100 crates containing documents hidden at Kamel's residence. The documents contain information on biological, chemical and nuclear weapons, and the production of surface to surface missiles.

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