Chronology: Regional Affairs, January 16, 1998-April 15, 1998

The Middle East Journal, Summer 1998 | Go to article overview

Chronology: Regional Affairs, January 16, 1998-April 15, 1998


1998

Jan. 17: In the Rabiyya district of Amman, unknown attackers entered the home of an Iraqi businessman, Sami George Thomas, killing him and seven other people, including Hikmet alHajun, the number two official at the Iraqi Embassy in Jordan. [1/19 NYT, FT]

Jan. 19: The Iraqi News Agency (INA) reported that Iraqi president Saddam Husayn had released all Jordanian prisoners held in Iraq. [1/21 FBIS]

In Tehran, Iranian foreign minister Kamal Kharrazi met with Iraqi foreign minister Muhammad Sa`id al-Sahhaf and agreed to form two joint committees, one to resolve humanitarian issues and the other to resolve tourism and trade issues between the two countries. [1/21 FBIS]

Jan. 24: In Mecca, Iranian ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Muhammad Reza Shahrudi-Nuri, met Saudi Arabia's King Fahd to deliver a message from Iranian president Muhammad Khatami. [1/27 FBIS]

Jan. 25: In Tunis, President Zayn al-'Abdin bin `Ali met with Palestinian National Authority (PNA) president Yasir `Arafat to discuss the peace process. [1/27 FBIS]

Jan. 29: Israeli defense minister Yitzhak Mordechai announced that Israel would retaliate if Iraq were to attack Israel. [1/30 NYT]

Feb. 1: Kuwait's acting prime minister, Shaykh Ahmad al-Jabir al-Sabah, told US secretary of state Madeleine K. Albright that Kuwait would support the use of military force against Iraq if necessary, in light of the stand-off between Iraq and the United Nations over weapons inspections. [2/2 NYT]

In Jerusalem, Israeli prime minister Netanyahu asked US secretary of state Albright for advance warning of any US strike against Iraq. [2/2 WP]

Feb. 2: After six hours of talks with US secretary of state Albright, the Saudi government issued a statement asserting that if diplomacy failed and the United States attacked Iraq, the fault "would lie exclusively on the Iraqi regime." [2/3 NYT]

Feb. 3: US secretary of state Albright reported that both Bahrain and Egypt had told her that if the United States resorted to military action against Iraq, Iraqi president Saddam Husayn would be to blame. [2/4 NYT]

Feb. 4: In Cairo, Egypt and the PNA signed a joint trade agreement. [2/6 FBIS]

Feb. 5: Turkish foreign minister Isma`il (em arrived in Baghdad to meet with Iraqi officials in the hope of finding a diplomatic solution to the stand-off between Iraq and the United Nations. [2/6 NYT]

Feb. 6: In Beirut, Iranian Majlis speaker `Ali Akbar Nateq-Nuri met with Lebanese prime minister Rafiq al-Hariri to discuss regional issues and bilateral relations. [2/9 FBIS]

Feb. 8: In Jidda, Saudi Arabia, US secretary of defense William S. Cohen met with King Fahd and stated that the United States would not ask to use Saudi bases in the event of a US attack on Iraq. [2/9 NYT]

Feb. 9: In Cairo, Arab League secretary-general `Ismat `Abd al-Majid announced that France, Russia and the Arab League had prepared a draft UN motion to allow UN inspection teams access to 68 suspected weapons sites in Iraq. [2/10 FT]

Iraqi foreign minister Al-Sahhaf visited Damascus to rally support against US threats of military action. [2/10 FT]

Feb. 11: Muhammad Hamza al-Zubaydi, the personal envoy of Iraqi president Husayn, arrived in Algiers to brief Algerian president Liamine Zeroual on the recent developments of the Iraq crisis. [2/IS FBIS]

Turkey bombed Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK) camps in the Metina region of northern Iraq. [2/12 FT]

In Baku, Azerbaijan, President Heydar Aliyev and Lebanese prime minister Al-Hariri signed four agreements covering trade and economic cooperation, mutual investment, communications, and customs issues. [2/15 FBIS]

Feb. 15: In Amman, after two days of talks, Iraq and Jordan signed a $255 million trade protocol for 1998. [2/21 FBIS]

Feb. 16: Jordan announced it would not allow any country to use its airspace to attack Iraq. …

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