Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Facts for Your Files: A Chronology of US-Mideast Relations

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Facts for Your Files: A Chronology of US-Mideast Relations

Article excerpt

Mar. 1: Jordan's King Hussein, in a nationwide broadcast, called for postwar unity and reconciliation among Arabs.

Mar. 3: Following a two-hour meeting with Iraqi military leaders, US Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf reported that Iraq accepted all allied terms for formally ending the Gulf war.

- Secretary of State James Baker, on the eve of a trip to the Middle East, said the US would not "impose" a solution to the ArabIsraeli dispute.

Mar. 6: Speaking before a joint session of Congress, President Bush announced the beginning of US troop withdrawal from the Gulf and re-emphasized US commitment to UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, which call for a land-for-peace solution to the Israeli-Palestinian issue.

- Amid reports of spreading rebellions, Iraqi President Saddam Hussain appointed his cousin, Ali Hassan Al-Majid, who oversaw the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, as the new interior minister, and Iraqi officials announced that Western journalists would be temporarily expelled from the country.

- In a reversal of previous policy, Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir said Israel was willing to hold talks with Arab countries that have not yet recognized Israel.

Mar. 7: UN Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar appointed Edouard Brunner, Switzerland's ambassador to the US, as his special Middle East representative.

Mar. 9: The US warned Iraq not to use chemical weapons against rebelling Shi'i rebels in Southern Iraq.

Mar. 10: Following a meeting with US Secretary of State Baker in Riyadh, eight Arab foreign ministers called for Israeli concessions on the occupied territories and a UN-sponsored peace conference.

- An internal Israeli Housing Ministry report contained plans for more than 10,000 housing units for Soviet immigrants to be built in the occupied territories.

Mar. 11: Lebanese security sources reported that the 13 Western hostages being held by pro-Iranian Muslim extremists had been moved from Beirut's southern slums to hideouts in the Bekaa Valley.

Mar. 12: Secretary of State Baker, pursuing a "two-track" peace initiative, met with Israeli Prime Minister Shamir and later with 10 Palestinian leaders from the occupied territories during his first visit to Israel.

- King Hussein of Jordan said his country would be willing to participate in peace talks but would not act as a substitute for the PLO.

- Kuwait and the US agreed to open an allied air base on Bubiyan Island in the Persian Gulf, an island Iraq claimed the right to lease prior to its Aug. 2 invasion of Kuwait.

Mar. 13: Iraqi rebel groups reported battling helicopter gunships and tanks in several Iraqi cities, including Baghdad.

Mar. 14: Kuwait's Emir Jabir Ahmed Sabah returned to his country after seven months in exile, as deported Palestinians and other foreigners told of being detained and tortured by Kuwaiti soldiers and resistance fighters.

Mar. 16: Iraqi President Saddam Hussain said the Shi'i uprising in the south had been put down, and announced broad political reforms.

Mar. 17: Avi Popper, the Israeli ex-soldier who machine-gunned seven Palestinian workers to death last May, was sentenced to seven consecutive life terms in prison by a Tel Aviv District Court.

Mar. 18: PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat's first public call for direct talks between Israel and the PLO was rejected by Israeli and US officials. Israeli Prime Minister Shamir also said the 10 Palestinian leaders who had met with Secretary of State Baker in Jerusalem were unacceptable negotiating partners, and rejected a suggestion from a fellow Likud Party member that Israel consider giving up the Golan Heights. …

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