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EUROPEFrance and Germany, with a joint proposal to set up the embryo of a European army, raised the stakes in a debate about whether NATO should keep a monopoly on Western defense into the next century. The plan to set up a European army corps could give the European Community a defense role for the first time in its 34-year history. The 12-nation Community, engaged in tortuous negotiations about closer economic and political integration, has also been arguing about whether to take on a defense role. But few h ad expected such concrete proposals so soon. The plan is to set up an army corps - usually 70,000 to 100,000 men - with troops from the nine member states of the Western European Union, based on an embryo force to be established by France and Germany. The proposal stresses that NATO would be consulted on sensitive moves.... A French professor, Pierre-Gilles de Gennes of the College de France in Paris, won the 1991 Nobel Prize for Physics yesterday for work explaining behavior of liquid crystals, polymers, s uperconductors, and magnets. Swiss Professor Richard Ernst, of the Eidgenoessische Technische Hochschule in Zurich, won the 1991 Nobel Prize in chemistry. MIDDLE EAST Jordan and the PLO have agreed on a confederal-type joint leadership under King Hussein and Yasser Arafat that will direct their delegation at a proposed Middle East peace conference, senior PLO official Taysir Khaled said yesterday. The PLO's decisionmaking Central Council is now examining the plan. Khaled said the agreement on leadership was separate from the question of the exact makeup of any joint Jordanian-Palestinian delegation.... Jewish settlers in the occupied territories warned that thousands of Israelis would protest Secretary of State James Baker's planned Middle East peace conference, saying it was tantamount to "surrender talks" for Israel.

ASIA AND THE PACIFIC President Jaime Paz Zamora arrived in Tokyo Wednesday on the first official visit to Japan by a Bolivian head of state. Bolivia is seeking Japanese assistance in areas such as gas pipeline projects between Brazil and Bolivia, an airport modernization plan in La Paz, and road construction from Bolivia and the Pacific coast.... Millions of dollars worth of Chinese textiles are reaching the United States after being routed through third countries to avoid US quotas, US ambassador to the Philippines Frank Wi sner said yesterday.

LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN Searches, seizures, and arrests of prominent supporters of ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide continued as Haiti's interim prime minister failed to complete the planned formation of his government. Interim Prime Minister Jean-Jacques Honorat did not announce the rest of his Cabinet to Parliament Tuesday as expected.

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