News In Brief

Arabs blast US-Israeli pact; PLO retreat stalled

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak stepped up his criticism of the US for signing a strategic cooperation pact with Israel, accusing Washington of disregard ing its Arab allies in the Middle East.


weekend comments followed ''an earful'' of similar criticism Secretary of State George Shultz said he was hearing in Tunisia, before continuing to Morocco in an 11-day trip.

Tunisian oficials told Shultz Washington needed ''better balance'' to build a durable peace, and that the Soviet Union was now a factor in the Mideast only because of disruptive Israeli policies. Mr. Shultz said the US wanted friendly relations with Arab nations, but that the US ''does have and will have a strong relationship with Israel.''

Shultz told reporters he expected PLO leader Yasser Arafat and his loyalists to be evacuated soon from Tripoli. But Greece, which has promised to supply ships for the evacuation, has stalled pending guarantees of safe passage for its ships by the US, France, Italy, and Britain, who make up the multinational peacekeeping force in Lebanon. Anonymous callers claiming to be ''Palestinian hawks'' have threatened to blow up any ship transporting Arafat.

Israel has said it wants Arafat out of Lebanon, but Sunday it would not give a guarantee of safe passage to Arafat. Israel has continued to shell PLO positions in Tripoli after a bomb attack on a Jerusalem bus Dec. 6, and is blockading the port.

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