Newsletter : 6fax0501.txt
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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan
May 1, 1996 V4, #79
All the News the Big Guys Missed
Peres Refuses to Rule Out Iran Air Strike
By Paul Westpheling (VOA-Washington)
Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres says Israel may have no more
than four years to create a new coalition in the Middle East. Peres
said he is worried by the spread of Islamic fundamentalism in the
region because Iran is attempting to destroy Israel by mobilizing
the fundamentalist movement, which he calls evil and malicious.
Peres says he also believes Tehran has the potential to possess a
nuclear weapon by the year 2000. "It is because of this that I
think a united policy by the Western world and the Russians to
prevent the Iranians from having a combination of the
fundamentalist movement and the nuclear capacity is essential."
Peres refused to rule out an Israeli air strike against Iran's
suspected nuclear facilities. However, he says the best approach
would be for Iran to be stopped, using economic pressure.
The prime minister said he cannot say, with certainty, former
Soviet scientists or Russian military personnel with nuclear
knowledge are working to give Iran a nuclear capability. However,
he says there are 150 Russian experts in Iran trying to rebuild a
civilian nuclear reactor.
Peres says Islamic fundamentalists armed with nuclear weapons pose
one of the greatest dangers of our time -- ranking behind only
Communism and Nazism.
Clinton-Peres Sign Anti-Terrorist Agreement
By David Borgida (VOA-White House)
President Clinton and visiting Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres
have signed an anti-terrorism agreement that underscores the US
commitment to the search for a comprehensive Middle East peace.
The agreement was signed as both leaders began their second meeting
in the past three days.
Under the agreement, the United States provides Israel with
advanced anti-terrorist help and equipment -- such as robots used
to disarm bombs. Congress has approved $50 million the president
requested for the new help for this year.
The president denied his help to Israel represents undue US support
for Peres in the upcoming Israeli election. "We do not interfere in
the internal decisions of other countries, and Israel and the
United States are friends and allies, and will be no matter who is
elected. I hope that will also be the case no matter who is elected
in November in the United States."
Jerusalem Talks Start Sunday
By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)
Israel and the Palestinians will begin talks on the next and final
stage of their peace process Sunday evening at the Egyptian resort
of Taba, on the Gulf of Eilat. Previous accords created the
Palestinian Autonomy Authority and resulted in the Israeli
withdrawal from Gaza and most of the Palestinian cities on the West
Bank. The latest agreement, signed last year, is still in the
process of being implemented.
But all the previous agreements were interim steps, designed to
build trust and prepare the way for talks on the most difficult
issues between them -- Palestinian statehood, and the future of
Jerusalem, Israeli settlements and Palestinian refugees.
Some officials say the basic outlines of a deal are known and the
details could be worked out within a few months. But others
predict the negotiations will go even longer than their scheduled
duration of three years.
And all agree the Israeli elections four weeks from now will have
a significant impact on the talks, with the ruling Labor Party
ready to move ahead swiftly and the opposition Likud offering a
more cautious approach. For that reason, Sunday's meeting is
expected to be mainly procedural, with substantive talks waiting
until sometime in June.
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