Ap, Reuters, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)
After initial government denials, Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres confirmed Monday that he had given a written guarantee protecting the status of PLO offices in Jerusalem.
PLO leader Yasser Arafat disclosed the existence of an agreement on Jerusalem earlier this month in a speech in Johannesburg, South Africa. Right-wing opposition leaders have demanded an explanation from Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who along with Peres and other officials had denied there was any such document.
The letter was written to Norway's late foreign minister Johan Jorgen Holst, who acted as host at secret Israel-PLO talks that led to the autonomy accord Sept. 13. "I wish to confirm that the Palestinian institutions of East Jerusalem . . . are of great importance and will be preserved," Peres said in the letter.
Disclosure of the letter is embarrassing for the government because it comes at a time when Rabin has threatened to close PLO offices in Jerusalem. It suggests that the future status of Jerusalem, the most sensitive issue in Israel-PLO relations, is on the negotiating table. AP
***** YEMEN North Announces Truce, Adds Warning Northern Yemen announced a unilateral cease-fire Monday in the country's month-old civil war, but it warned that neighboring Arab states could re-ignite the conflict by tacitly supporting the secessionist south.
Foreign Minister Mohammed Salem Bassandwah said the truce was in response to a U.N. Security Council resolution from last week calling for a halt to the conflict on the tip of the Arabian peninsula. Aden, the southern stronghold, offered no immediate response, but southern leaders had welcomed the U.N. action. AP
***** COLOMBIA Quake, Volcanic Eruption Strike; 2 Die
A strong earthquake shook central and southwestern Colombia Monday, killing at least two people, injuring at least 30 others and leaving dozens more homeless.
A volcano near the epicenter erupted at the same time, sending ice, mud and rock into a nearby river and creating a danger of flooding.
The government's geological institute, Ingeominas, said the quake registered 6.0 on the Richter scale and was centered on the small town of Toribio in the southwestern province of Cauca, more than 125 miles southwest of Bogota.
A national police spokesman told local radio that one person had died in Bogota and another in a town in the neighboring province of Huila. At least 30 others suffered injuries and dozens more remained homeless, he said. Reuters
***** RWANDA Soldiers Launch Attack On Rebels
Government forces struck at rebels near the southwestern town of Kabgayi on Monday in their first major counterattack since the Rwandan civil war began two months ago. …