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Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, December 1991/January 1992, Page 55

Facts for your Files: A Chronology of U.S.-Mideast Relations

Compiled by Janet McMahon

Oct. 2: The US Senate formally agreed to President George Bush's request for a 120-day delay in considering an Israeli request for $10 billion in loan guarantees.

Oct.3: Labor Party leader and former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres called for a halt to Jewish settlements in the occupied territories, saying that "Peace cannot be achieved without a territorial compromise. " Reportedly as a result of strong US pressure, Israel agreed to impose controls on the export of its missile technology.

Iraq for the first time permitted UN inspectors to fly in UN helicopters to search for weapons installations.

Oct. 6: Israeli peace activist Abie Nathan was sentenced to 18 months in prison for having met with PLO leader Yasser Arafat. A videotaped message from American hostage Terry Anderson was released by the Islamic Jihad, which kidnapped Anderson in Beirut in 1985.

Oct. 7: Kurdish guerrillas killed at least 60 unarmed Iraqi soldiers they had taken prisoner in fighting in Sulaymaniyah in northern Iraq.

A UN inspection team discovered the building complex that apparently housed the nerve center of Iraq's covert nuclear weapons program. The complex, located about 40 miles south of Baghdad, was only lightly bombed during the Gulf war.

Oct. 8: Administration officials said the US had protested Israeli reconnaissance flights over Iraq on Oct. 4, when Israeli planes also flew over Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia en route to and from Iraq.

Israeli officials questioned Palestinian negotiators Faisal Husseini and Hanan Ashrawi, who denied attending the Palestine National Council meeting in Algiers.

Oct. 9: Hundreds of militant Jewish "settlers" occupied a half-dozen homes in the Arab East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan.

Oct.10: Israeli Housing Minister and fellow Likud member Ariel Sharon announced he will challenge incumbent Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir in 1992.

Oct. 11: Palestinian representatives Hanan Ashrawi, Faisal Husseini and Zakaria AlAgha met with US Secretary of State James Baker in Washington to discuss Palestinian participation in the proposed Mideast peace conference.

The UN Security Council voted unanimously to ban Iraq's nuclear industry and continue weapons inspections so long as Saddam Hussain remains in power.

Oct. 13: Saudi Arabian King Fahd ordered that passports be returned to the approximately 50 women who in November 1990 defied the ban on female driving.

Oct. 14: US Secretary of State Baker met with Jordan's King Hussein in Amman to discuss a joint Jordanian-Palestinian delegation to a Mideast peace conference.

Oct. 15: In Damascus, Secretary of State Baker met with Syrian President Hafez AlAssad and Foreign Minister Farouk Charaa, who indicated that Syria would not participate in the regional follow-up phases of a Mideast peace conference.

Oct. 16: Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the 53-yearold quadriplegic who organized the Islamic Resistance Movement, or Hamas, in 1987, was sentenced to life in prison on charges of manslaughter by an Israeli military court in the Gaza Strip.

Oct.17: US Secretary of State Baker met for six hours with Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir in Jerusalem, while Soviet Foreign Minister Boris Pankin met with Israeli Foreign Minister David Levy.

Oct. 18: The United States and the Soviet Union issued invitations to Syria, Lebanon, Israel and a joint Jordanian-Palestinian delegation for a peace conference to convene Oct. 30 in Madrid, Spain.

Oct. 19: Palestinian representatives provided a complete list of delegates to the Madrid peace conference to US Consul General Molly Williamson in Jerusalem.

Oct. 20: The Israeli Cabinet voted 17-3 to approve Israel's participation in the upcoming Mideast peace conference.

The US began removing from Saudi Arabia military equipment originally intended to serve as a permanent stockpile in the region.

Oct. 21: Following Israel's release of 15 Arab hostages held in southern Lebanon, US hostage Jesse Turner, kidnapped in 1987, was released in Beirut by the Islamic Holy War for the Liberation of Palestine.

Following the defeat of their Motherland Party in parliamentary elections, Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz handed his resignation to President Turgut Ozal. Suleyman Demirel of the True Path Party, which won a narrow victory in the elections, said he would form a new coalition government after the new Parliament convenes.

Oct. 23: Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir announced that he, not the more moderate Foreign Minister David Levy, would lead Israel's delegation to the Mideast peace conference in Madrid. Levy subsequently announced that he would not attend the conference at all.

Officials of the PLO, Syria, Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon, joined later by the Saudi Arabian and Moroccan foreign ministers, met in Damascus for a formal strategy session prior to the Madrid peace conference.

The United Nations Security Council endorsed a plan to destroy all of Iraq's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons-producing plants and equipment.

Oct. 24: Arab diplomats meeting in Damascus agreed that no Arab participants in the upcoming Mideast peace conference would make separate agreements with Israel, but rejected a Syrian proposal that environmental and arms control talks would not take place until Israel returned occupied Arab lands.

Israel reopened its embassy in Moscow, closed since the 1967 Six-Day War.

Iraqi Oil Minister Osama Al-Hiti rejected the UN Security Council plan to allow Iraq to sell $1.6 million worth of crude oil, saying, " They are trying to change our government, and it's not going to happen."

Oct. 25: UN weapons inspectors announced they had obtained the blueprints for an Iraqi atomic bomb.

Oct. 27: US administration and diplomatic officials confirmed that President Bush had decided to waive sanctions against Israel for exporting ballistic missile components to South Africa.

Oct. 28: Soviet-made tanks once belonging to the former East German army were found aboard an Israeli freighter in Hamburg. A German government spokesman said the German intelligence service had planned to ship the tanks to Israel without the knowledge of the German government.

Oct. 30: US President Bush and Soviet President Gorbachev addressed the opening session of the US-Soviet-sponsored Middle East peace conference in Madrid, Spain.

Oct. 31: Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir and representatives of the Jordanian, Palestinian, Lebanese and Syrian delegations addressed the Madrid Mideast peace conference. Palestinian delegate Haidar AbdelShafi declared, "We are willing to live side by side on the land" with Israel.