US prepares to unfreeze dollars 10bn Israel loan deal
Wednesday 15 July 1992
The US Secretary of State, James Baker, arrives in Israel on Sunday for talks with the newly installed Labour government of Yitzhak Rabin. He will also visit Arab capitals to get the peace process going again.
President George Bush has invited Mr Rabin to visit him at his holiday home in Kennebunkport in Maine next month. This is a privilege offered only to world leaders with whom Mr Bush proposes to have a chatty, first-name relationship - a status denied to Mr Rabin's hardline predecessor, Yitzhak Shamir.
Having helped to achieve the result it wanted in the Israeli general election last month, the Bush administration is now driven partly by electoral considerations of its own. Progress in the US- sponsored Middle East peace talks would be a modestly useful feather in the President's cap as he seeks to contrast his international expertise with the inexperience of Bill Clinton and Ross Perot.
More significantly, it would dampen the anger in the US Jewish community, which had no particular love for the defeated Shamir government, but loathed the sight of a US government using the aid weapon against Israel for the first time. Although most Jews vote Democrat in any case, the strong anti-Bush mood in the Jewish community could be a significant mobilising - and fund- raising - force in key states like New York and California.
The loan guarantees, to underwrite the resettlement of Russian and Jewish immigrants, are an important factor in the Rabin government's attempts to shore up the Israeli economy. Washington has changed the precise wording of its conditions for releasing the loans on several occasions. But a sizeable gap still appears to exist between the US and the new Israeli government. The Bush administration wants Israel to freeze all new settlements on land occupied by Israel in the 1967 and 1973 wars. Mr Rabin says he will stop 'politically' motivated encroachments on Arab land but he supports 'enhanced' settlements necessary for 'security' reasons, around Jerusalem, in the Golan Heights and in the Jordan Valley.
Prospects for reopening the peace talks - due in Rome at a date still to be agreed - are also uncertain. Palestinian leaders have expressed disappointment at Mr Rabin's failure, in his opening statements as prime minister, to commit Israel to surrender occupied land as part of a peace deal.
In Tunis, Bassam Abu Sharif, a senior adviser to the PLO chairman, Yasser Arafat, complained that Mr Rabin failed to endorse UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, which enshrine the land-for-peace principle. Mr Rabin did tell the Knesset on Monday night, however, that he would follow the 'principles' of the 1978 Camp David Accords, which were based on Resolution 242.
- 1 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 2 Husband and wife die holding hands within hours of each other after 67 years of marriage
- 3 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 5 Saudi Muslim cleric claims the Earth is 'stationary' and the sun rotates around it
Stephen Hawking's wife Jane Wilde on their marriage breakdown: 'The family were left behind'
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Putin critic may have been murdered by Islamic extremists, says president-led committee
British are sexually uptight, dirty and drink too much – according to Spanish book
PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
White and gold or blue and black – what colour is the dress? An eyewitness gives a definitive answer
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Russia's roadmap for annexing eastern Ukraine 'leaked from Vladimir Putin's office'
£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...
£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...
£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...
£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...