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News, 15-22/10/00

NEWS, 15-22/10/00

The news as such this week is pretty uninteresting, apart from the Syrian
plane item. This is, I think, the first of these flights (apart from the
Russian and the French who, as permanent members of the Security Council,
are above the law) which has gone without giving prior notification to the
Sanctions Committee. There are some interesting items in the Supplement ­
alarm at the apparent unravelling of US policy, and some explanation of why
a US gunboat policing sanctions should have been allowed to refuel in Aden.
Note a tendency in the discussions to give the impression that sanctions are
no longer having any effect within Iraq. I take it we don't agree with this.

*  Azza Ibrahim to head Iraqi delegation to the Arab summit
*  Gadafi's son mediate regarding Kuwaiti captives in Iraq
*  Iraq Seeks To Contest U.N. Awards
*   Iraq holds on to hijackers
*  IAEA remains ready to resume verification work in Iraq
*  Iraq Earns Another 450 Million Dollars in UN "Oil-for-Food" Program
*  Syrian Plane to Iraq Defies UN Ban
*  Israel says its anti-ballistic missile operational
*  Mexican authorities discover another group of Iraqi Christians
*  UN Oil-For-Food Deal Fails to Meet Basic Needs: Iraq
*  Iraqi help for Palestinians
*  Iraq opposed to hijackings
*  Saudi Says Iraq Holding Pilot Missing Since 1991
*  IPU [Inter-Parliamentary Union] urges lifting of sanctions on Iraq
*  India befriends Iraq in bid to get oil
*  $1bn aid pledge by Saudis [report on Arab summit]
*  Iran Opposition Launches Mortars

URL only, for those who understand oil pricing policy:  
*  Lifters say proposed Iraq Kirkuk price hike fair

NEWS SUPPLEMENT, 15-22/10/00 (sent separately)

*  Iran's diplomatic push highlights its key regional, Muslim roles
*  Saudi- Yemeni arrangements to carry out border demarcation agreement
*  The Saddam angle [by Laurie Mylroie. Who has recently published a book
arguing that Saddam will have his revenge]
*  United States and Russia: Battling for Influence in Yemen [
analysis of the strategic importance of the Yemen]
*  Middle East stalemate benefits Iraq [not much here we don't know but an
interesting, non hysterical, summary of recent developments]
*  Middle East spends more than £7bn on weapons ['Saddam's neighbours' don't
seem to feel that the protection we offer them is quite enough]
*  Suppose Baghdad Was Behind the Cole Bombing by Jim Hoagland [seems to be
advocating that Iraq should be flattened on the off chance that it might
have had a hand in the Cole bombing]
*  War Scares: Beware, Globalization Doesn't Have to Succeed by Robert J.
Samuelson ['Globalization presumes that materialism refashions world
politics' ­ an interesting statement of the general philosophy behind US
foreign policy]
*  Zinni: 'Significant' change in Yemeni attitude led to decision to refuel
Cole at Aden
*  Britain opens links with North Korea
*  Rogues? Not any more ­ The doctrine of containment is dying [two articles
from the Guardian which I include because of the parallels between North
Korea and Iraq]
*  Hastert Withdraws 'Genocide' Resolution [on the resolution before
congress to ask Clinton to call the Turkish massacre of the Armenians
'genocide'. This was prompting Turkey to become less cooperative in the
containment of Iraq.]
*  Whatever happened to the rogue states?
*  Documents link Gore to arms sales to Iran
*  Limits to participation [Germany and Japan both getting over their
inhibitions about engaging in military action]

AND, as a special treat for football fans:

FOOTBALL SUPPLEMENT, 15-22/10/00 (sent separately)

*  Lebanon hold Iraq to a draw
*  Gulf war revisited [comment prior to the Iran-Iraq match]
*  Iran beats Iraq for first time since 1976
*  [Programme for next week]

Iraq, Politics, 10/16/2000

Azza Ibrahim, the deputy chairman of the revolution leadership council, will
be heading Iraq's delegation to the urgent Arab summit conference that will
be held in Cairo on Saturday.

Informed diplomatic sources said that the Iraqi delegation will comprise
deputy prime minister Tareq Aziz ", foreign minister Mohammed Saeed el Sahaf
and culture and information minister Hammam Abd El-Khalek.

The Iraqi president Saddam Hussein sent on last Sunday a message to the
Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak in which he informed him with Iraq's
approval to attend the summit and apologized for not attending it

Libya, Politics, 16/10/2000

Kuwaiti sources revealed that Seif al-Islam al-Ghadafi ,the son of the
Libyan President Moammar al-Ghadafi, intends to make mediation to release
the Kuwaiti captives in Iraq.

Abd El Aziz El Mashari, the head of the association of the Kuwaiti captives
families, said in a press conference during stopping over in Cairo yesterday
on his way back from the Libyan capital Tripoli to Kuwaiti that "Ghadafi's
son promised to ask the Iraqi leadership to release the Kuwaiti captives and
close the detainees' file to restore the Arab solidarity."

He added that Soliman El Shehoumi, the secretary of the foreign affairs
committee in the general public conference in Libya, also undertook to
support Kuwait to regain its captives (from the era of the Gulf war).

The Associated Press, Mon 16 Oct 2000

UNITED NATIONS (AP) ‹ Iraq said Monday it deserves more opportunity to
contest U.N. awards to victims of its 1990 invasion of Kuwait ‹ a call
backed by its allies on the Security Council and the administrator of the
compensation fund itself.

In a letter to the U.N. secretary-general, Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohammed
Saeed al-Sahhaf said an upcoming review of the Geneva-based U.N.
Compensation Commission should re examine Iraq's role.

The commission, which decides how much Iraq should pay to people and
companies hurt by the war, awarded its largest payout to date last month ‹
$15.9 billion to the Kuwait Petroleum Co. Al-Sahhaf said Iraq should be
allowed to participate more fully in the commission proceedings ``in view of
the fact that it is the party that must bear the burden of paying the
so-called compensation.''

He also said Iraq deserves compensation for the damage inflicted by U.S. and
British air patrols on the northern and southern no-fly zones ‹ but such
claims are unlikely to ever come before the commission. The no-fly zones are
enforced to protect groups opposed to Iraq's government. Iraq does not
recognize the zones and has been challenging the planes that patrol them
since December 1998.

The Security Council has agreed to review the compensation commission's
procedures now that it has begun deciding large, billion-dollar claims from
corporations and governments. For the first nine years of its work, the
commission handled smaller claims by individuals.
France and Russia, Iraq's allies on the council, would like the proceedings
to be more court like, allowing Iraq to read the case files and give its
side in hearings. Those countries also have proposed letting Iraq use money
from the fund to pay for technical and legal experts to present its side ‹ a
call echoed by the commission's executive secretary, Jean Claude Aime, in a
Sept. 6 report.

The Security Council decided to review the commission's proceedings before
the end of the year as part of a compromise agreement reached ahead of the
Kuwaiti oil company payout, which was the centerpiece of the 2.6 million
compensation demands that have been presented to the commission. The demands
total $320 billion.

Russia, France and China had threatened to delay the oil company payout
unless the United States and Britain agreed to a review and to reduce the
amount of money that goes into the compensation fund.

The fund gets its money from the U.N. oil-for-food program, which lets Iraq
skirt sanctions and earn billions through unlimited oil sales, as long as
the bulk of the money goes to buy humanitarian goods for its people. As part
of the compromise agreement, the fund will get 25 percent rather than 30
percent of each dollar earned through the oil-for-food program, with the
extra money going toward humanitarian projects.


Tuesday, 17 October, 2000

Iraq has turned down a request from Saudi Arabia to extradite the two men
who hijacked a Saudi plane on Saturday and forced it to fly to Iraq.

The Iraqi Interior Minister, Mohammad Zammam Abdel Razzak, said the two
Saudi men would not be returned.

"Our people have never, throughout their long history, handed over an
intruder and even less so if he is using his right to his land, Iraq being
the land of all Arabs," Mr Razzak said.

On Monday Saudi Arabia's interior minister Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz,
demanded that the two men, who were employed in the Saudi security forces,
be returned.

"We will not compromise over their extradition," the Prince said.

An extradition treaty was in force between the two countries before
diplomatic relations were broken off following Iraq's August 1990 invasion
of Kuwait.

The hijack ended peacefully when the Boeing 777-200, carrying more than 100
people, many of them Britons, landed in Baghdad after it was diverted from a
scheduled flight from Jeddah to London.

Conspiracy theories

The two Saudi hijackers said they were fleeing their country because of
human rights abuses.
Some British newspapers have suggested that the action was an elaborate ploy
by Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to boost his diplomatic image and help
bring an end to sanctions on his country.

Iraq is still under a United States air embargo following its invasion of
Kuwait in 1990 but recent flights from Arab countries to Baghdad appear to
have weakened its impact.

The Iraqi interior minister said Saudi Arabia had given the Emir of Kuwait
similar refuge during Iraq's invasion of Kuwait and accused the Saudi's of
collaborating with the Americans.

"You are the ones who are in agreement with the Americans and the Jews. You
allow Iraq to be bombed from your lands, and still we do not bargain. Do you
think we will bargain now?" Mr Razzak asked.

He said Saudi Arabia should rather be grateful that Iraq had resolved the
crisis peacefully and treated the hostages well.

Saudi Arabia has said it will use all means, including Interpol, to secure
the extradition of the two men.

Vienna, United Nations, Oct 18, IRNA (Iranian news agency) --

The International AtomicEnergy Agency (IAEA) remains prepared to resume its
inspections in Iraq on short notice in order to verify the status of the
country's clandestine nuclear program, according to the Agency's latest
progress report, which was made available here on Tuesday.

In the report, IAEA Director-General Mohamed El Baradei informsthe President
of the Security Council that the Agency is currently not in a position to
implement its mandate under various Security  Council resolutions on Iraq,
and as such it is "unable to provide  any measure of assurance with regard
to Iraq's compliance with its obligations under those resolutions."

Despite its inability to resume inspections -- which broke off in December
1998 -- the IAEA has continued some Iraq-related activities, including the
destruction of a filament-winding machine which Baghdad had procured as part
of its clandestine uranium   enrichment program. The Agency destroyed the
machine, along withits associated spare parts, in Jordan this May.

According to El Baradei, if the IAEA is unable to resume theinspections
called for by the Security Council in the near future, it would have to
initiate another physical inventory verification  of the nuclear material
pursuant to the Safeguards Agreement with  Iraq, under the Treaty on the
Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).

People's Daily, China, October 18, 2000

Iraq exported 16.3 million barrels of oil last week, earning an additional
450 million US dollars for the United Nations humanitarian "oil-for-food"
program, the United Nations Office of Iraq Program reported on Tuesday.

The office, which administers the UN humanitarian "oil-for-food" program,
said that in the week to October 13, the UN Security Council sanctions
committee approved two additional contracts for the sale of Iraqi oil.

Since the beginning of the phase VIII of the "oil-for-food" program on June
9, which ends on December 5, 2000, Iraq's oil exports have totaled 263.1
million barrels, the office said.

The office said since the first oil exports under the program, on December
10, 1996, Iraq has exported 2,093 million barrels of oil with a value of
over 35.7 billion dollars.

The total value of contracts on hold in all sectors of the program is now
more than 2.25 billion, comprising over 1.97 billion for humanitarian
supplies and almost 279 million for oil industry spare parts and equipment,
the office reported.


The Associated Press, Wed 18 Oct 2000

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) ‹ A Syrian plane carrying farming materials arrived in
Baghdad on Wednesday in what was believed to be the first in a recent spate
of humanitarian flights to make the trip without alerting the U.N. sanctions

The flight was the third from Syria in the past few weeks and one of 26
since France and Russia decided to challenge the U.N. sanctions regime last
month. Most of those flights had been approved by the U.N. sanctions
committee in New York.

The Syrians did not notify the committee of this flight, much less wait for
its approval, said a spokesman for Dutch Ambassador Peter van Walsum, who
chairs the U.N. sanctions committee.

The plane carried fertilizer and seeds for Iraq. Passengers included a
delegation from the Syrian Agricultural Engineers Union. Iraqi Agriculture
Minister Abdel Ilah Hamid met them at Baghdad airport.

Relations between Syria and Iraq have warmed during the past two years, with
a reopening of border crossings and Syria's winning contracts to sell goods
to Iraq under the U.N. oil-for food program.

But there are long-standing ideological differences between the states,
which broke off relations after Syria sided with Iran during the 1980-88
Iraq-Iran War.

France and Russia sent humanitarian flights to Baghdad last month, saying
they were opposed to the sanctions imposed on Iraq after its 1990 invasion
of Kuwait and wished to express solidarity with the Iraqi people. France and
Russia notified the United Nations of the flights but did not wait for U.N.
approval ‹ incurring censure from the United States.
More than a score of Arab states, as well as Italy and Turkey, have made
similar flights to Baghdad since then.

Iraq welcomes the planes as a sign that sanctions are collapsing.

The committee has no power to punish violators of sanctions. In normal
practice, it would send a letter to the alleged violator inquiring about
what happened and issuing a reminder of U.N. member states' obligations to
enforce sanctions.

France and Russia have blocked U.S. attempts to send such letters to their
governments, arguing that they didn't violate sanctions because they
notified the committee. It wasn't immediately clear if they would try to
prevent a letter from being sent to Syria.

The committee is expected to take up the issue of flights again on Friday.

A Bahraini flight has been cleared to go to Baghdad but the United States
has put an Egyptian flight on hold, the Dutch spokesman said.

U.N. Security Council resolutions say that for sanctions to be lifted, Iraq
must eliminate its weapons of mass destruction. Baghdad claims to have done
so but refuses to cooperate with U.N. arms inspectors.


JERUSALEM, 19/10/00: Israel's army, in a statement apparently aimed at Iraq,
announced on Tuesday that its missile-killing, US-backed Arrow 2 rockets
were ready for action.

"They have been declared operational to intercept surface-to-surface
missiles," an army communique said.

Defence establishment sources said the timing of the announcement was
important psychologically in the face of unspecified Iraqi actions.

Israel's Defence Ministry said last month the Arrow missile had passed a key
test by hitting a simulated ballistic target launched towards Israel,
similar to the Scud missiles that Iraq fired during the Gulf War in 1991.

The 10-year-old Arrow project, originally linked with Washington's
now-defunct Strategic Defence Initiative (Star Wars) programme, is supposed
to protect Israel against missile attacks from Syria, Iraq and Iran.

The price tag is expected to exceed $2 billion by 2010, of which direct US
financing will account for some $700 million.

Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, slowly breaking out of international
isolation despite continuing UN sanctions, vowed last week he could "destroy
Zionism" if given a patch of land adjoining Israel.

US defence officials said last week that an elite Iraqi Republican Guard
division had begun moving westward from its base in Baghdad along with tanks
but did not appear to pose an immediate threat to Iraq's neighbours.

[.....]  (Reuters)


MEXICO CITY, Mexico (AP, October 19, 2000) -- Mexican immigration
authorities have discovered another group of Iraqi Christians who have made
their way to the border city of Tijuana with the hope of obtaining asylum in
the United States.

The 28 men and women entered Mexico with tourist visas and, in some cases,
false passports, officials said.

Last month, a group of more than 130 Iraqi Christians drew national
attention after Mexican authorities cracked down on a Tijuana hotel that had
become a way station for Iraqi Chaldeans seeking asylum in the United
States. The group, which was seeking political asylum because they claimed
religious persecution in their homeland, was later allowed into the United

It was not immediately clear how authorities found the most recent group nor
whether they too would be allowed into the United States. The group was
being held at a migrant house run by the Catholic Church.

At least 250 Iraqi Christians have fled their homeland for Mexico in recent
months in hopes of seeking political asylum in the United States. The
Christian Iraqis fear persecution if forced to return to Iraq, which is a
mostly Muslim country.

San Diego County, which is across the border from Tijuana, is home to some
15,000 Chaldeans, the second largest Iraqi Christian community in the United
States behind Detroit.


The United Nations oil-for-food program has failed to meet the basic
humanitarian needs of the Iraqi people, Iraqi Trade Minister Mohammad Mehdi
Salah said Wednesday in Baghdad.

Salah made the remark while meeting a visiting Egyptian delegation, which
arrived in Baghdad by plane on Tuesday afternoon.

Salah said that Iraq's oil exports have generated some 35 billion US dollars
since the beginning of the UN humanitarian deal in December 1996, yet only
8.3 billion dollars worth of goods arrived in Iraq, or an average of 2
billion dollars a year and seven dollars for every Iraqi citizen.

In contrast, some 11.5 billion dollars have been spent to cover the expenses
of UN activities and reparations stemming from the 1991 Gulf War, he said.


>From the newsroom of the BBC World Service, 19 October, 2000

Iraq says it's sending around sixty trucks with food and medicines to help
the Palestinians.

The convoy of vehicles, bound for Jordan, was waved off by the Trade
Minister, Mohammed Mehdi Saleh.

He said other convoys with aid for the Palestinians would also head for
Amman soon.

Iraq, which has been under international sanctions for more than ten years,
earlier sent medical teams to Amman to treat Palestinians wounded in clashes
with Israeli forces.


BAGHDAD (October 20) : Iraq said on Thursday it opposed the hijacking of a
Saudi passenger jet diverted to Baghdad at the weekend but said it would
allow flights to land in an emergency.

"Iraq rejects air hijacking and piracy which happens from time to time
including the recent hijack of a Saudi plane," Iraq's Under Secretary of
Communications and Transport Sabri Katai told the weekly al-Zawra newspaper.

"We categorically reject the repetition of such incidents," Katai told the
paper which is owned by President Saddam Hussein's eldest son Uday.

Katai, however, said that his country would allow planes to land at the
newly reopened Saddam International Airport in an emergency.

[.....]  (Reuters)

Friday, October 20, 2000

DUBAI--Saudi Arabia has accused Iraq of holding a Saudi pilot missing since
his plane was shot down during the 1991 Gulf War, a newspaper reported on

The Saudi-owned, pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat said the renewed charges coincided
with the start of a rare Saudi-Iraqi meeting arranged by the International
Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to organize a joint search in an area
where the body of the missing pilot may be buried.

Al-Hayat said a leading member of the Saudi delegation to the meeting, which
began in the Saudi border town of Ar'ar on Thursday, said that witnesses had
reported seeing the pilot, Mohammed Nazerah, in an Iraqi jail.

The official also told the Saudi daily Okaz that there was photographic
evidence the pilot was still alive.

In Baghdad, an Iraqi spokesman rejected the charges as "groundless," state
radio reported.

Saudi Arabia had earlier offered to send experts and equipment to help clear
a minefield, some 15-20 kms (9-12 miles) from the Saudi border, where some
reports say the missing pilot was buried after his plane was shot down
during the Gulf War.

The ICRC has urged Baghdad and Riyadh to set aside political differences to
search for the body.


Times of India, 21/10/00

JAKARTA: The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) on Friday overwhelmingly
adopted a resolution urging the lifting of existing sanctions on Iraq, and
said medicines and foodstuffs must be excluded from any future sanctions.

The resolution recognized that economic sanctions may be a "useful and
legitimate instrument" for the UN Security Council, but said that they
should be "avoided as far as possible" and only after a thorough examination
of the humanitarian impact.

Adopted by 834 votes in favor, 245 against and 159 absentions, the numbers
showed a "clear measurement" of world concern over the current use of
sanctions, conference secretary general Anders Jensen said.

"It was a reflection of the growing frustration and anger in the
international political community," Jensen told AFP, adding that it had
taken the backing of more than 70 percent of the members to get the topic on
the IPU's agenda in Jakarta where it is holding its 104th meeting.

"For the first time a detailed list of recommendations has been put
forward," and the backing of "80 percent of the world's parliamentarians is
a clear measurement," of support, Jensen said.

A separate vote on the paragraph concerning Iraq in the draft of the
resoluton, was earlier passed by a much closer vote -- 595 votes in favor,
517 against and 105 absentions.

Jensen said that the narrower vote on Iraq did not affect the final vote on
the broader resolution, as delegations which had recorded their opposition,
felt free to go along with it.

"Comprehensive economic sanctions are to be avoided as far as possible
because they inflict suffering on too many innocent persons; the preferred
solution is targeted sanctions which directly affect the political leaders
of the country in question," the resolution said.

Suggestions for forms of targetted sanctions included the freezing of
politicians' bank accounts abroad, travel restrictions and arms embargoes.

Though at times a "useful and legitimate" for the UN Security Council to
ensure international peace and stability, the sanction should be carefully
designed and the criteria for their lifting -- partially or fully -- "should
be stipulated at the outset," it said.(AFP)

by Indrani Bagchi , New Delhi, Saturday Oct 21 2000

INDIA is moving steadily towards an increased engagement of Iraq with a firm
eye to accessing cheaper oil by freeing Iraq¹s captive capacities.

The unrelenting rise of international oil prices have dealt a heavy blow to
India¹s economy and India has now put in its lot with countries who have
attempted to end Iraq¹s isolation.

Therefore, when secretary (Est) of the ministry of external affairs KV Rajan
travels to Baghdad on Monday at the head of an inter-ministerial delegation,
India will be making a subtle point to the UN Security Council and
specifically the US-UK axis that sanctions against Iraq should go.

The ostensible reason for the official delegation will be to prepare for the
forthcoming joint commission meeting in New Delhi soon.

The delegation however comprises key officials from the department of
economic affairs, ministry of finance, ministry of petroleum, Indian Oil
Corporation, Exim Bank and RBI.

While not overtly supporting the Franco-Russian initiative in defying UN
sanctions on Iraq, India¹s quiet moves are intended to send the same
message: that the 'education' of Saddam Hussein should not be at the cost of
poor countries like India.,6903,386141,00.html     

Arab summit : Brian Whitaker in Cairo and Peter Beaumont report on plans for
a cash package to back the new intifada, The Observer, Sunday October 22,

Saudi Arabia yesterday poured petrol on the conflagration in Israel and the
Palestinian Territories, pledging a $1 billion package to support the
'Al-Aqsa intifada' - named for the clash at the Jerusalem mosque that
triggered the recent violence.

The Saudi comments came as the Chairman of the Palestinian Authority, Yasser
Arafat, promised fellow Arab leaders meeting in Cairo for an emergency
summit yesterday that his people would keep struggling against Israel until
they won 'victory'.

Arafat's vow came as the clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security
forces - which sank last week's US-brokered ceasefire deal - continued
unabated. Israeli troops and Palestinians battled at several flashpoints in
the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, leaving two dead and at least 50
Palestinians injured.

An Israeli Army spokesman said soldiers had fired at Palestinians who shot
at troops guarding Gush Katif, a Jewish settlement in the middle of the
densely populated Strip. Israeli officials have accused Arafat of fanning
the violence to try to toughen the Arab summit's line against Israel,
despite the truce brokered by President Bill Clinton at talks in Sharm el
Sheikh in Egypt.

More than three weeks of battles have left 115 people dead, the vast
majority of them Palestinian.

The Saudi proposal for a $1bn fund came as Crown Prince Abdullah blamed the
United States for the collapse of the peace process. He told the summit the
kingdom would donate 25 per cent of the money.

Under the Saudi plan, $800 million would be used 'to safeguard and
constantly preserve the Islamic and Arabic identity of Jerusalem, en-abling
our Palestinian brothers to stand on their own and release them from
dependence on Israel', the prince said. This was seen as a direct challenge
to those Israelis who claim Jerusalem as their eternal and undivided

A further $200m - to be known as the Jerusalem Intifada Fund - would be
allocated 'to the families and education of the children of the Palestinian
martyrs who sacrificed their lives in the struggle'. In addition, the King
and people of Saudi Arabia promised to 'sponsor and support 1,000 families
of the martyred and wounded in the Al-Aqsa intifada'.

Although the US regards Saudi Arabia as an ally and one of the Arab
moderates, Crown Prince Abdullah openly criticised the Americans, saying
that as the sponsors of the peace process they bore a special responsibility
for its collapse.

Meanwhile, the Iraqi representative in Cairo, Izzat Ibrahim, delivered a
speech in the name of President Saddam Hussein calling for armed jihad (holy
war) against Israel.

'Iraq's clear position is to call and work for the liberation of Palestine
through jihad, because jihad alone is capable of liberating Palestine and
other Arab territories occupied by dirty Jews in their distorted Zionist
entity,' Ibrahim said.

President Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen called for weapons to be supplied to
the Palestinian people, while President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia
proposed dispatching 'an international separation force' to safeguard peace
between the Palestinians and Israelis.

The tone of many speeches in the opening session of the summit - which is
attended by 14 heads of state but has been boycotted by Libya - contrasted
sharply with the opening speech by President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, who is
hosting the conference.

Though he blamed Israel for bringing the peace process to a standstill,
Mubarak said that Arabs would not abandon the path of negotiations.

The Associated Press, Sun 22 Oct 2000

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) ‹ Mortars fired by an Iraq-based Iranian opposition group
exploded in northern Tehran, but caused no casualties, state-run Tehran
radio reported Sunday.

The brief report official by the Islamic Republic News Agency did not say
how many mortars were fired or where they landed in the Saturday night

The Iraq-based Mujahedeen Khalq said in a statement received in Cairo,
Egypt, that its agents in Iran had pounded two elite Revolutionary Guards
bases in separate mortar attacks 30 minutes apart, and that ``a number of
Revolutionary Guards were killed or wounded.''

That claim could not be independently confirmed.

Witnesses said seven or eight mortars fell in a part of northern Tehran that
houses a military base and a public sports complex.

Over the past year the Mujahedeen have launched several similar mortar
attacks in Tehran and other cities. Civilians have been killed or wounded in
a number of those attacks.

The Iranian Intelligence Ministry said in a statement late Saturday that
several Mujahedeen agents in Iran had been arrested with mortars and other
equipment for terrorist attacks, the news agency reported.
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