”We respect the wish of the PLO, the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people to secede from us in an independent Palestinian state.”
King Hussein of Jordan, August 1st 1988
Over the last week, Washington and Tehran have exchanged a few messages through a third party. The message from the US administration is said to congratulate Iran for accepting the cease fire and to seek the help of Iranians officials to secure the safe release of the US citizens held hostage in Lebanon.
Iranian leaders have publicly said that they would use their influence over Hizbullah if the US returns Iranian assets frozen following the Islamic revolution.
Fearful that such agreement would resurrect the memories of the Iran-Contras, the Reagan administration immediately rejected such demand. But Secretary of State Shultz said that he was ready to meet with Iran foreign minister Ali Akbar Velayati.
Velayati is currently in New York to discuss the cease-fire with the UN Secretary General. Velayati rejected for now Shultz proposal, arguing that he had not received the authority to engage in further negotiations.
The decision made by King Hussein to cut his links to the West Bank has taken both Israeli and Palestinians by surprise. Neither appear to know what to make of it. At face value, it now seems that Israel has no one but Arafat to negotiate with.
Right wing Israeli politicians and newspaper however believe that King Hussein is bluffing and only intend to demonstrate his critical role over this matter. They point out that the King has not revoke the Jordanian passports held by West Bank residents, and that he has not stopped paying the salary of the 13,000 Jordanian government employees in the West Bank.
So far, the bridges over the Jordan River remain opened. Jordanian currency is still in use. And, at least in principle, Jordanian law remains in force in the Israeli occupied territory.
Back to the Present (2008)
The US and Libya are said to be rushing the final agreement regarding the compensation of the American relatives of the Lockerbie victims. Considering that the tragedy occurred 20 years ago, one is left wondering what reason could possibly justify such a rush? And could it be that that the same issue is causing the crown to use every possible legal trick to delay the second appeal of the lone Libyan accused of the Lockerbie bombing?
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