PLO, Israel Conclude Talks On Services In West Bank
THE Palestine Liberation Organization and Israel have concluded draft agreements that would give the PLO control over education, health, and taxation in all of the West Bank, a PLO official said yesterday.
Under a May 4 accord signed in Cairo, Palestinians gained autonomy in Gaza and the West Bank town of Jericho. Three days of talks on extending Palestinian autonomy to the rest of the West Bank were to end today.
The next round of negotiations is expected to focus on giving Palestinians in the West Bank authority over tourism and social welfare.
Nabil Shaath, the PLO's chief negotiator to the talks, denied Israeli radio reports that Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO leader Yasser Arafat had agreed to make the West Bank town of Jenin the next Palestinian autonomous region. ``It's all of the West Bank,'' Mr. Shaath said.
In a separate development, Palestinian police yesterday banned distribution of hundreds of copies of a pro-Jordan daily, An-Nahar, in the Gaza Strip. It was the first move to censor the press in the autonomous areas.
The ban came after the newspaper failed to highlight PLO objections to a segment of the Israel-Jordan peace declaration dealing with Jerusalem.
Yasser Abed Rabo, culture minister for the autonomy government, said the ban was unauthorized.
Northern Yemenis reject Geneva talks
YEMEN'S foreign minister said yesterday his government would not take part in reconciliation talks with its defeated southern rivals in Geneva under a United Nations plan. ``They are no longer representing a fighting side, and there is no longer what is called the Democratic Republic of Yemen,'' Mohammad Basendwa told Reuters.
Mr. Basendwa said Sanaa favored talks with ``the unionist elements'' of the Yemen Socialist Party of southern secessionist leader Ali Salem al-Beidh, who fled the country after his bid to break from the Yemeni union collapsed July 7. The United Nations said Tuesday the talks would take place in Geneva yesterday under UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi. Basendwa said there was no plan to meet the southern delegation in Geneva.