Terrorism Summit to Begin without Climate of Unity
Barber, Ben, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)
The United States and Europe are expected to clash today when representatives of 28 nations meet at the State Department to hammer out anti-terrorist measures in a follow-up to the Sharm el-Sheikh summit.
Secretary of State Warren Christopher opened the meeting yesterday by announcing a plan to alleviate the problems caused by Israel's closure of the borders to Palestinian areas.
It includes allowing entry of construction and other materials from Israel and Egypt, a jobs program in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and increasing Arab citrus exports through Israeli ports.
In today's sessions, the United States is expected to focus on beefing up international police, intelligence and other measures to combat terrorism against Israel.
The main U.S. goal is to reassure Israelis that they should not pull out of the peace process.
But French diplomats said yesterday they fear Israel's tough measures against Palestinians since suicide bombings killed more than 60 people this winter will prove counterproductive.
A French diplomat meeting with journalists yesterday counseled against what he called "collective punishment" such as blowing up homes of terrorists, deporting suspects and cutting off travel from Arab-controlled areas into Israel for work.
Nevertheless the French diplomat endorsed the tough methods successfully used by Algeria to crush Islamic terrorists.
He also said France would ask the United States to clamp down on a U.S.-based Muslim organization based in San Diego, the American Islamic Group, which he said was using the Internet to publish information on making bombs.
He said the methods were "exactly the same kind of method used in France" by Islamic extremists. "We shall ask our American friends to take action," he said. …