|Al-Ahram Weekly On-line
17 - 23 September 1998
|Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875||Current issue | Previous issue | Site map|
Remote peacePRESIDENT Hosni Mubarak met with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in Alexandria yesterday. Following the meeting Arafat said the talks US envoy Dennis Ross held with Palestinian and Israeli officials were "not successful, as expected."
"If the US administration wished to achieve something for the Palestinian case, it could do it, just like it did in Ireland," said Arafat, though he thought Washington's chances of gaining Israeli approval for a 13 per cent withdrawal from the West Bank remained "remote".
Arafat said that Mubarak affirmed during their meeting "the importance and necessity of reaching a good agreement," and conceded that the Palestinians have agreed to setting up a "nature reserve" on a three per cent area, but only provided the area is under Palestinian sovereignty. Israel's security control in this area should be restricted to the security of Israelis, he said. Israel insists that the area should be under its exclusive security control.
Ross's taskAMERICA'S Middle East envoy Dennis Ross will return to Washington this week with no breakthrough in efforts to clinch a Palestinian-Israeli agreement on a second redeployment in the West Bank, the State Department said on Tuesday.
"I am not expecting an imminent breakthrough," State Department spokesman James Rubin said. He said Ross would return at the end of the week and "make recommendations" to US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.
Iran preparesTALIBAN leader Mullah Mohammad Omar called on Iran yesterday to resolve differences with Kabul peacefully after Tehran ordered its forces to prepare for action against the Islamic militia.
"Iran should solve its problem with the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in accordance with international law," Omar said in a statement to state-run Radio Shariat.
Omar's statement came after Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ordered tens of thousands of Iranian soldiers on Afghanistan's borders to prepare for action against the Taliban.
Tensions between the Sunni Muslim militia and Shi'ite Iran have mounted since the killing of nine Iranian diplomats and a journalist during the capture of the northern opposition stronghold of Mazar-i-Sharif last month.
Prison deathMAHMOUD Noureddin, leader of Egypt's Revolution Group that attacked Israeli and American diplomats in the mid-1980's, died Tuesday in prison, police officials said. They said Noureddin, 60, died at Torah prison, south of Cairo, of a brain fever caused by a severe influenza.
Noureddin was serving a life sentence with hard labour for staging at least four attacks against Israeli and American targets between 1984 and 1987.
Two Israelis died in the shootings. The wife of an Israeli diplomat was killed in March 1986 when the car she was riding in was ambushed outside the Cairo Trade Fair. In 1985, an Israeli diplomat was killed on his way to work. The attacks also wounded six Israelis and two American diplomats.
The Human Rights Centre for the Assistance of Prisoners said Noureddin's death was a "flagrant case of lack of medical care."