Chronology: Regional Affairs

The Middle East Journal, Winter 2002 | Go to article overview

Chronology: Regional Affairs


2001

July 18: Citing intelligence reports, the US State Department issued a warning of possible terrorist actions against US interests in the Arabian Peninsula. The reports linked the threat to Usama bin Ladin. [7/19 NYT, 7/20 FT]

July 25: The US Senate voted overwhelmingly to extend sanctions against Iran and Libya. Senator Charles E. Schumer, a Democrat from New York, called the countries "two of the world's most outlaw states." [7/26, NYT, WP]

Aug. 13: A South African official said that the racism conference scheduled to be held in Durban, South Africa, would not debate the issue of whether Zionism is racism. [8/15, NYT]

Aug. 17: Egyptian Presidential Foreign Policy Advisor Usama al-Baz met with US Secretary of State Colin Powell and National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice. He asked that the US take a more active role in the Middle East, specifically requesting a deployment of observers to the West Bank and Gaza. He warned that US "inaction" could fuel anti-American extremism in the Middle East. [8/18,IAT]

Aug. 22: at a meeting in Cairo, Arab Foreign Ministers called for political and economic assistance to the Palestinians and condemned Israeli "aggression." [8/23, Aug. 23: King 'Abdullah of Jordan requested that international observers monitor the ongoing violence in the Middle East, [8/24, WSJ]

Aug. 27: US Secretary of State Colin Powell announced that he would not attend the racism conference in Durban because the document of the forum contained anti-Israel language. [8/28, NYT, WSJ, WP]

Aug. 28: A Manhattan federal grand jury indicted Abu Doha, an Algerian, on charges that he served as link between Usama bin Ladin and another Algerian, already convicted for trying to bomb Los Angeles International Airport in December 1999. [8/ 29, WP]

Aug. 31: At the Durban conference on racism, Palestinian leader Yasir `Arafat lashed out at Israel, accusing the Jewish state of carrying out a "racist plot" against the Palestinians. [Sept. 1, WP]

Sept. 3: The US and Israel quit the Durban conference, citing anti-Israel language. [9/ 04, NYT, Fr, WSJ, WP]

Sept. 11: It was a day of infamy in the United States when terrorists hijacked four commercial jets bound for the West Coast. Two of the planes were flown into the two towers of the World Trade Center, another into the Pentagon, and the fourth crashed in the Pennsylvania countryside. Minutes later, both of the towers of the World Trade Center collapsed trapping thousands of civilians and rescue workers. In a television address to the nation, President George W. Bush vowed to "hunt down" those responsible for the terror attacks. Preliminary reports connected the attacks with Saudi-born terrorist Usama bin Ladin. [9/12 NYT, WP, WSJ, FT]

Sept. 12: NATO invoked the mutual defense clause from its founding treaty for the first time, in response to the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks. [9/13, NYT]

Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Egypt pledged that their intelligence and police services would help US investigators to determine who perpetrated the attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center. [9/14, WPI

Sept. 13: Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Jordan pledged their support for the US action against terrorism, and shared their intelligence and police files with US investigators.[9/14, WP]

Pakistan's military commanders announced that they were willing to meet some US demands for assistance in targeting accused terrorist fugitive Usama bin Ladin. As part of the dialogue between the countries, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf met with new US Ambassador Wendy Chamberlain, a meeting that ended with the President pledging his cooperation in the US campaign. [9/14, WP]

Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs William Burns met with representatives from Arab nations, including Syria, Egypt, and the Palestinian Authority to talk about the coalition against terrorism. …

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