Google Search

Newsletter : 5fax0612.txt

Directory | Previous file | Next file


Publisher\Editor Don Canaan

                     June 12, 1995, V3, #107
All the News the Big Guys Missed

For subscriptions or back issues, please contact POL management

Elbit to Compete with Aircraft Industries in Making Drones:

The Elbit electronics company has set up a division to produce pilotless planes -- drones -- and will compete with the Israeli Aircraft Industries which has had a virtual monopoly of this line in Israel. Elbit will show four drone models at the July Paris Air Show. Elbit has recently been awarded a contract to update 100 Mig-21 Soviet-made fighter jets for the Romanian Air Force.

Christopher Returns to Washington After Whirlwind Middle East Trip

By Laurie Kassman (Cairo), Ron Pemstein (Amman), Al Pessin (Jerusalem)

PLO chairman Yasir Arafat is due in Cairo today for consultations with President Hosni Mubarak, two days after his talks with US Secretary of State Warren Christopher. Palestinian and Israeli negotiators are trying to meet a July 1 target date for an agreement on expanding Palestinian self-rule to the West Bank, but Israel is indicating that deadline might slide.

Arafat will brief Mubarak on his round of discussions with Christopher and on the latest developments in Palestinian negotiations with Israel. The two men meet regularly to review the peace process. Their talks follow Mubarak's own meeting last Friday with Christopher and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

On Friday, Rabin indicated the July 1 deadline might slip a bit because of continuing disagreements over the timing and extent of an Israeli troop re-deployment in the West Bank. Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Moussa later called on Israel and the Palestinians to respect the target date in order to avoid losing credibility.

However while meeting with Christopher in Amman, Arafat expressed his resignation to extended negotiations with Israel. The PLO chief made it clear the July 1st date is merely his hope, not his expectation.

"We hope the 1st of July will be respected by all parties and we are looking for it, including deployment and handing over the empowerments and after that the elections.

Rabin says July 1 is merely a target date, not a deadline for negotiations. Christopher repeated that position and said the United States is urging both sides to complete the next phase of their declaration of principles.
The secretary of state has made clear the US will stay involved in the Israeli-Syrian negotiations from President Clinton on down.

"I retain the strong conviction that if there is a peace agreement here in this region, particularly one that brings about a comprehensive peace, that the United States will -- and Congress will -- support those who take the risks for peace. We've done it in the past. It is so fundamentally in our national interest to do so. We have such a large stake in a comprehensive peace in this region that I would look forward to the day and I would try to persuade Congress that they should be supportive of whatever support we can give to those who took risks to achieve a comprehensive peace.

Elections will be held in both Israel and the US in 1996 and Christopher says it is evident the attention of both men will be diverted next year. That gives a window of less than six months for this intensive diplomatic effort to be made.

Israelis opposed to a withdrawal from the Golan Heights criticized the optimistic tone of the Christopher mission. The secretary of state granted interviews to both Israeli state television channels in an effort to emphasize the benefits of peace, not just the price to be paid.

Before flying back to Washington, he assured King Hussein the Clinton administration will restore the legislation relieving Jordan's debt to the United States. The measure was included in a budget law vetoed on other grounds by President Clinton. The administration hopes to include the debt relief in another congressional action. Before leaving the area yesterday, Christopher set the date for the resumption of Israel-Syria military talks, doing some mediating between top Israeli and Palestinian leaders, and making a very public move to improve Israel's relations with Egypt. But in spite of the visible progress and optimistic statements from all the leaders concerned, the secretary also left behind many of the same disagreements which have prevented dramatic progress in the Middle East peace process for the last year.

On Sunday, Rabin formally reported to his Cabinet on the Christopher visit and the status of talks with Syria and the Palestinians. He repeated his view that peaceful relations with Syria must be tested during what he called "a period of years" before any significant Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights. He said at the outset there can be only a "small, symbolic" withdrawal.

Syrian government radio immediately branded those remarks a new obstacle to peace.

Rabin also said Sunday that Israeli troops will need to have the right to move freely throughout the West Bank, even after Palestinian Autonomy is expanded to more areas. And in comments during the last few days, he has said negotiators might miss the July 1 target date for reaching agreement on the next phase of Palestinian Autonomy. He indicated that if the Palestinians want their elections to be soon they will have to hold them with Israeli troops in some of their cities.

Those comments drew anger from Palestinian officials, who say the July 1 date must be met or there could be a violent response, and that Israeli troops must withdraw from much of the West Bank, and elections must be held, within the next few months.

Home Search

(All material on these web pages is © 2001-2012
by Electronic World Communications, Inc.)

Read today's issue
Who is Don Canaan?
IsraelNewsFaxx's Zionism and the Middle East Resource Directory