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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan

                      Oct. 26, 1995, V3, #194
All the News the Big Guys Missed

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Arafat Sees a Palestinian State

By Victor Beattie (VOA-Washington)

PLO chairman Yasir Arafat says he expects to see an independent Palestinian state within two years. He hopes elections for a Palestinian council will be held in January after the withdrawal of Israeli troops from West Bank populated areas.

Arafat says while an independent state is his objective he is not excluding the possibility that an elected Palestinian council would approve a confederal relationship with Jordan.

Arafat, in the US to mark the 50th anniversary of the United Nations, says he is pleased by the second-stage agreement with Israel on Palestinian Autonomy. He says the agreement, signed Sept. 28 in Washington, will lead to an independent state.

The PLO leader says negotiations continue with Muslim extremists opposed to the peace process, aimed at ending terror attacks on Israeli targets, but he says no agreement has been reached.

Giuliani Throws Arafat Out from Party

By David Borgida (VOA-Washington)

The Clinton administration is expressing regret over a decision by New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani to expel PLO Chairman Yasir Arafat from a concert for world leaders Monday night. But it is also saying the mayor had a right to decide who attends social functions he sponsors.

Clinton spokesman Mike McCurry offers this official reaction to the incident: "The whole episode was regrettable, but at the same time we recognize that the mayor has a right to invite who he wishes to receptions, just as the president had a right to invite Chairman Arafat to his reception."

McCurry was referring to a Clinton reception on Sunday, held after the president addressed the UN to mark its 50th anniversary.

Arafat was asked by aides to the mayor to leave a concert Giuliani hosted Monday night. Giuliani --a former federal prosecutor who investigated terrorist incidents linked to the PLO -- says he would not invite Arafat to "anything, anywhere, anytime, any place."

Tuesday, a spokesman for the US Mission to the United Nations called the incident "unfortunate in light of the constructive role that Mr. Arafat has played in the Mideast peace process." That spokesman did not cite the mayor's right to invite his own guests - - but a White House official denies this was added by Clinton spokesman McCurry for purely domestic political reasons.

Rabin on U.S. Jerusalem Decision: Keep Me Out of It!

By David Gollust (VOA-Washington)

Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin is visiting Washington amid controversy between the Clinton administration and Congress over the just-approved legislation to move the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Rabin is treading a fine line as he tries to deal with the issue. Mindful of Clinton administration opposition to the embassy move, Rabin has given a muted welcome to the legislation approved Tuesday by both houses of Congress aimed at forcing the relocation by 1999.

Congress overwhelmingly approved the bill providing for the embassy to be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. But the action has been bitterly condemned by the Palestinians and Arab states. And even some elements within Rabins' own Labor Party concede it could complicate Middle East peace efforts.

At a Pentagon meeting with US Defense Secretary William Perry, Rabin said he would welcome any country's embassy relocating to Jerusalem -- but he made clear he wanted to stay out of the partisan US debate.

"Every government of Israel no doubt after the Six-Day War of 1967 sees Jerusalem united as Israel's capital under our sovereignty. This is our position regardless of what other countries or governments think. We welcome any embassy of any government to come to Jerusalem. But we are not involved in any domestic arguments that exist in any country, especially in friendly countries."

The Clinton administration strongly opposed the legislation on grounds it would compromise the US as a Middle East honest broker. The chief sponsor of the measure was Republican Senate leader and presidential candidate Bob Dole.

The White House says Clinton will allow the bill to become law because he does not have enough votes to sustain a veto. However, officials say Clinton will invoke a loophole provision in the measure allowing him to delay the embassy move by six-month increments -- if he determines US security interests are threatened by the relocation.

Israel and the Palestinians are to begin what are known as the final status negotiations by May of next year. The talks will cover -- along with Jerusalem -- the future of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza, resettlement rights for Palestinian refugees, and the question of Palestinian statehood.

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