”I express deep regret at the mission’s conclusion that chemical weapons continue to be used against Iranian forces and positions.”
Javier Perez de Cuellar, United Nations Secretary General
UN Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar said that he would declare a cease-fire in the Iran-Iraq war. He added that he will decide on the date based on the recommendations of a military mission sent by the UN in the Gulf.
Tehran officials have apparently already decided that they would respect the cease-fire, thus leaving Baghdad with the responsibility to end the war.
Two experts, appointed by the United Nations, have produced a report that accuses Iraq of using chemical weapons on ”an intense and frequent scale.” The report states that there is no doubt that Iranians were poisoned by mustard gas last June.
(NB: Today we know that the US helped Saddam Hussein as he used these chemical weapons against Iran; See CIA files )
Middle East News
King Hussein of Jordan decision to abandon his claim to the Israeli-occupied West Bank has thrown the American Middle East policy into disarray. Yet, the White House is reluctant to acknowledge the fact.
”The King’s moves are the final nail in the coffin of any possibility of making progress with the Shultz initiative prior to the elections here and in Israel,” Representative Stephen J. Solarz, Democrat of Brooklyn, said.
”The King’s statement does not alter our approach to peace in the Middle East. Our policy is not changed in any way by this action,” said Marlin Fitzwater, the White House spokesman.
In exchange for direct talks with Arafat, the US administration demands the P.L.O. ”to renounce terrorism, to recognize Israel’s right to exist and to accept the United Nations resolutions that establish a framework for peace in the Middle East.”
A spokesman for the Dukakis campaign said that the Democrat candidate agrees with those conditions for dealing with the PLO.
”Those requirements are pointless, a silly exercise, and nobody takes them seriously. They are just meaningless formulas having a ritual purpose, to delay the full face-to-face political encounter between Palestinians and Israelis that eventually has to occur,” Prof. Edward W. Said told reporters.
Back to the Present (2008)
Reuters has reported that U.S. and Libyan negotiators have reached tentative agreement on the outstanding compensation issues between the two countries, including the final tranche of the $10m payable to the family of each Lockerbie victim.
“The deal has been structured to respect Libyan sensitivities about making a large payout to compensate victims of incidents for which it has not taken responsibility. By careful orchestration of these steps we can ultimately provide that these claimants would receive what are really unprecedented payouts,” a senior official explained.
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