Newsletter : 5fax1207.txt
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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan
Dec. 7, 1995, V3, #222
All the News the Big Guys Missed
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Peres: Jerusalem Not Issue for Compromise:
Prime Minister Shimon Peres says no compromises will be made on
Jerusalem. "We have never thought of Jerusalem as an issue of
compromise, for division or for partnership between two opinions."
The Prime Minister made the remarks at a ceremony bestowing the
City of Jerusalem's title of honorable citizen on the late Prime
Minister Yitzhak Rabin.
Bosnia: Proxy Battlefield for Muslim Terrorists?
By Ed Warner (VOA-Washington)
As US troops are deployed in Bosnia-Herzegovina, one concern is the
number of Muslim fighters, or Mujahedin, who have come from other
countries. Many are considered hostile to Americans -- even though
some have been trained by Americans, many in Afghanistan. Memories
are fresh of the bomb that killed 241 US servicemen in their
barracks in Lebanon in 1983.
Defense Secretary William Perry said we are concerned about the
terrorist threat. He was referring to Islamic extremists from
abroad who have joined the fight in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Estimates
of their number range from several hundred to a few thousand.
Nobody is really sure. But it does not take many to make trouble
for US troops. Perry said the Dayton agreement requires outside
military personnel to be withdrawn from Bosnia, and the Bosnian
government insists it will comply, but some may not want to leave.
The New York Times reports 40 members of a charity organization in
the city of Zenica have been charged with terrorist acts in Egypt.
A Muslim from the Persian Gulf told the newspaper Americans will
bring corruption to Bosnia -- drugs and prostitution. He said they
will destroy all the work we have done to bring the Bosnians back
to true Islam. The Americans are wrong if they think we will stand by
and watch them do this.
Arnold Kanter, senior associate at the Forum for International
Policy, says the outsiders are capable of carrying out such a
threat. "They are, in the context of Bosnia, well trained and well
armed. But perhaps more important, it is unclear under whose
control they are; that is, whether they will live up to the
agreement or indeed follow the orders of the parties to the
agreement -- in this case the Bosnian Muslims. And there is every
reason to believe that, in fact, they are anti-Western and indeed
anti-American. So I think the concern on the part of the Pentagon
is that this is essentially a hostile, rogue force."
Kanter says they will be hard to detect because they have blended
into the regular Bosnian forces. US troops could be in the
position of fighting the people they are supposed to be aiding.
Khaled Saffuri, of the American Muslim Council, says that is not
likely to happen. While traveling in Bosnia-Herzegovina, he came
across a group of 25 Iranians south of Sarajevo, and some Mujahedin
from Afghanistan west of the city. But he says the numbers of
outsiders are greatly exaggerated, and they are used to taking
But Saffuri says the outsiders may not readily return home since
many of them were forced to leave their countries, not always for
legitimate reasons. A combination of factors have brought Afghans,
Algerians, Egyptians and Iranians to the war in Bosnia.
Professor of Politics at Brandeis University Stephen Burg, whose
specialty is the Balkans, says radical Muslims will have limited
influence in Bosnia. "It is very hard to judge what the role of the
outside Islamic world would be in the Balkans, and the outside
Islamic world is a diverse place all by itself. So that Turkish
interests are not the same as Iranian or Pakistani interests or
Saudi interests. So I think we can expect Islamic forces or
interests to be working at very different purposes to one another
in the future.
Analysts add Muslim behavior will depend in part on how American
troops conduct themselves in a very complex and demanding
Peres Starts Three-Nation and Palestine Diplomatic Jaunt
By Laurie Kassman (VOA-Cairo)
Israeli leader Shimon Peres met wednesday with King Hussein of
Jordan on his first visit to Amman as prime minister. The two
men reviewed the peace process and concluded a transport agreement.
Peres is making the rounds of his peace partners before heading to
Washington later this week. First stop was Jordan to meet with
Hussein. Today, he heads to Cairo for talks with Egypt's President
Hosni Mubarak. And tomorrow, he meets PLO Chairman Yasir Arafat in
After the talks in Amman, he said he and King Hussein compared
notes about the peace process and their mutual efforts to normalize
bilateral ties. Discussions about peace also focussed on the
stalled Syrian negotiations and efforts to get them back on track.
US diplomat Dennis Ross has sounded more upbeat after this week's
round of shuttle diplomacy between Israel and Syria. The two
leaders also resolved differences over details of a transport
accord that will allow Jordanian commercial airliners to fly over
the Jewish state.
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