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United States. Congress. House. Committee on Forei.

Developments in the Middle East, October 1994 : hearing before the Subcommittee on Europe and the Middle East of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, House of Representatives, One Hundred Third Congress, second session, October 4, 1994 online

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Online LibraryUnited States. Congress. House. Committee on ForeiDevelopments in the Middle East, October 1994 : hearing before the Subcommittee on Europe and the Middle East of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, House of Representatives, One Hundred Third Congress, second session, October 4, 1994 → online text (page 1 of 13)
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DEVELOPMENTS IN THE MIDDLE EAST
OCTOBER 1994



Y 4.F 76/1 :f1 58/20/994-3

Developnents in the filddle East/ 10...

HEARING

BEFORE THE

SUBCOMMITTEE ON
EUROPE AND THE MIDDLE EAST

OF THE

COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

ONE HUNDRED THIRD CONGRESS

SECOND SESSION



OCTOBER 4. 1994



Printed for the use of the Committee on Foreign Affairs




U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
84-383 CC WASHINGTON : 1994

For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office
Superintendent of Documents, Congressional Sales Office, Washington, DC 20402
ISBN 0-16-046275-4




DEVELOPMENTS IN THE MIDDLE EAST
OCTOBER 1994



Y4.F76/1:M 58/20/994-3

Developnents in the niddle East; 10...

HEARING

BEFORE THE

SUBCOMMITTEE ON
EUROPE AND THE MIDDLE EAST

OF THE

COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

ONE HUNDRED THIRD CONGRESS

SECOND SESSION



OCTOBER 4, 1994



Printed for the use of the Committee on Foreign Affairs




U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
84-383 CC WASHINGTON : 1994

For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office
Superintendent of Documents, Congressional Sales Office, Washington, DC 20402
ISBN 0-16-046275-4



COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS
LEE H. HAMILTON, Indiana, Chairman



SAM GEJDENSON, Connecticut

TOM LANTOS, California

ROBERT G. TORRICELLl, New Jersey

HOWARD L. HERMAN, California

GARY L. ACKERMAN, New York

HARRY JOHNSTON. Florida

ELIOT L. ENGEL, New York

ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA, American

Samoa
JAMES L. OBERSTAR, Minnesota
CHARLES E. SCHUMER, New York
MATTHEW G. MARTINEZ, California
ROBERT A. BORSKI, Pennsylvania
DONALD M. PAYNE, New Jersey
ROBERT E. ANDREWS, New Jersey
ROBERT MENENDEZ, New Jersey
SHERROD BROWN, Ohio
CYNTHIA A. McKINNEY, Georgia
MARIA CANTWELL, Washington
ALCEE L. HASTINGS, Florida
ERIC FINGERHUT, Ohio
PETER DEUTSCH, Florida
ALBERT RUSSELL WYNN, Maryland
DON EDWARDS, California
FRANK McCLOSKEY. Indiana
THOMAS C. SAWYER, Ohio
LUIS V. GUTIERREZ, lUinois

Michael H. Van Dusen, Chief of Staff

Richard J. GaRON, Minority Chief of Staff

Deborah Burns, Staff^ Associate



BENJAMIN A. OILMAN, New York
WILLIAM F. GOODLING, Pennsylvania
JAMH:S a. leach, lowa
TOBY ROTH, Wisconsin
OLYMPIA J. SNOWE, Maine
HENRY J. HYDE, Illinois
DOUG BEREUTER, Nebraska
CHRISTOPHER H. SMITH, New Jersey
DAN BURTON, Indiana
JAN MEYERS, Kansas
ELTON GALLEGLY, California
ILEANA R0S-LEHTINT:N, Florida
CASS BALLENGER, North Carolina
DANA ROHRABACHER, California
DAVID A. LEVY, New York
DONALD A. MANZULLO, Illinois
LINCOLN DIAZ-BALART, blonda
EDWARD R. ROYCE, California



Subcommittee on Europe and the Middle East



HAMILTON, Indiana, Chairman

BENJAMIN A. OILMAN, New York
WILLIAM F. GOODLING, Pennsylvania
JAN MEYEItS, Kansas
ELTON GALLEGLY, California
DAVID A. LEVY, New York
JAMES A. LEACH, Iowa



LEE H

ELIOT L. ENGEL, New York
CHARLES E. SCHUMER, New York
ROBERT A. BORSKI, Pennsylvania
ROBERT E. ANDREWS, New Jersey
SHERROD BROWN, Ohio
ALCEE L. HASTINGS, Florida
PETER DEUTSCH, Florida
TOM LANTOS, California

KaTHERINE a. WilkenS, Suhcomittee Staff Director

Daniel Shapiro, Professional Staff Member

Deborah BodlaNHKR, Republican Professional Staff Member



(ID



CONTENTS



WITNESS

Page

Hon. Robert H. Pelletreau, Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs,

Department of State 1

APPENDIX

Hon. Robert H. Pelletreau, prepared statement 43

Letter dated October 28, 1994 from Assistant Secretary of State Wendy
Sherman, to the Hon. Lee Hamilton transmitting report on People's

Moiahedin of Iran 55

Supplemental questions submitted to the Department of State for the record

and responses thereto 97



(III)



DEVELOPMENTS IN THE MIDDLE EAST



TUESDAY, OCTOBER 4, 1994

House of Representatives,
Committee on Foreign Affairs,
Subcommittee on Europe and the Middle East,

Washington, DC.

The subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 10:03 a.m., in room
2172, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Lee H. Hamilton
(chairman) presiding.

Chairman Hamilton. The meeting of the subcommittee will
come to order.

The Subcommittee on Europe and the Middle East meets in open
session to discuss recent developments in the Middle East. The
subcommittee last met in open session to discuss these develop-
ments on June 14.

Our witness today is the Honorable Robert H. Pelletreau, Assist-
ant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs.

We have got a number of topics we want to talk with you about
today, Mr. Secretary, including the progress of the peace talks be-
tween Israel and Syria, the status of Israeli-Palestinian efforts to
implement early empowerment and move toward Palestinian elec-
tions; the administration's decision on a deduction from Israel's fis-
cal year 1995 loan guarantees; IsraeH-Jordanian efforts to achieve
a peace treaty; the status of the Arab boycott; the status of U.N.
sanctions against Iraq; the upcoming report of the U.N. Special
Commission on Iraq; and our U.S. policy toward Iran and Egypt.

We are anxious to hear from you regarding the administration's
assessment of these and other developments and their implications
for U.S. policy toward the Middle East.

Before we begin, I would like to acknowledge the presence of
members of the Egyptian People's Assembly, who are with us
today. I think they are with us.

Are they in the room?

I have been informed they are on the way. So I may acknowledge
them once they come in. We will be very pleased to have them in
attendance.

Your statement, of course, will be entered into the record in full,
Mr. Secretary, and you may proceed with your summary.

STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE ROBERT H. PELLETREAU,
ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE FOR NEAR EAST AFFAIRS,
DEPARTMENT OF STATE

Mr. Pelletreau. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

(1)



My statement covers the major developments in the Middle East
since our last session. But to open this session, let me just tick off
the peace process developments of the past week to indicate the
pace and dimension of positive accomplishment that we are wit-
nessing.

Last Friday, the foreign ministers of six Arab States of the Gulf
Cooperation Council (GCC) announced that they were ending the
secondary and tertiary aspects of the Arab boycott and further that
they will support action in the Arab League to end the boycott alto-
gether. This means that American companies doing business in Is-
rael do not have to worry about being prevented from doing busi-
ness in the Gulf and American companies doing business in the
GCC countries may also engage in business in Israel without fear
that the door might be closed behind them. It also means that trav-
elers with Israeli stamps in their passports can travel to the GCC
countries without fear that they will be turned away at the bor-
ders.

Tunisian and Israeli foreign ministers met and agreed that they
would establish economic liaison offices, in the Belgium embassies
in each other's country, in order to develop economic relations be-
tween them. They have described this action as the beginning of
a process of normalizing their relations. They plan to meet, to-
gether with Secretary Christopher, later today at the State Depart-
ment.

In New York, the Secretary held a productive meeting with For-
eign Minister Buwayz of Lebanon to review the outstanding issues
on the Lebanese-Israeli track of negotiations.

Yesterday, Foreign Minister Peres and Crown Prince Hassan,
meeting with President Clinton at the White House, announced a
number of positive measures as they proceed along the path of ne-
gotiating a full peace treaty. These include opening a second border
crossing in the northern part of their border to complement the
Aqaba-Eilat crossing opened in August; establishing a Red Sea Ma-
rine Peace Park; exploring in Aqaba and Eilat a free trade zone
and establishing a free tourism zone for the two cities where citi-
zens of each country can travel back and forth freely; completing
terms of reference for the Jordan Rift Valley joint master plan; ex-
changing delegations in the economic field; and holding a sympo-
sium on the proposal to construct a Red Sea-Dead Sea Canal.

It is evident that the two countries are not waiting for full agree-
ment on everything but are proceeding energetically to implement
areas of agreement as soon as they occur.

Also yesterday, in Cairo, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators
began discussion of the terms and modalities for holding elections
for a Palestinian Council as called for in the Declaration of Prin-
ciples. We strongly support the introduction of democratic processes
to Palestinian self-governing areas, to holding elections, and will be
supporting this effort, politically and through our assistance pro-
gram.

Also yesterday, in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Rabin won an im-
portant Knesset vote endorsing his peace policies. Later this week,
we will welcome Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk Shara to Wash-
ington for further discussion of negotiations between Syria and Is-
rael.



The two leaders are fully engaged, through Secretary Chris-
topher's facilitation, in negotiating tne issues of peace, withdrawal,
security and the timing and interfacing of the various elements of
these issues. And while their positions are still quite far apart,
they are not as far apart as when the Secretary began his shuttle
diplomacy last spring.

The Secretary will return to the region this weekend with plans,
as is his custom, to advance the process on each of the tracks. We
should not expect that each visit and each stop will produce some-
thing newsworthy but taken as a whole, as we chart the course of
the Middle East peace process from month-to-month, we can see
the barriers, both psychological and physical, breaking down.

Discussion of dinerences proceeding and agreements being
reached: The United States will not be caught wanting in this proc-
ess. President Clinton, Secretary Christopher and all of us are de-
termined to do everything we can to assist the countries and peo-
ples of this vital region to reach a just, lasting and comprehensive
peace.

I would be pleased to proceed to the questions.

[The prepared statement of Mr. Pelletreau appears in the appen-
dix.]

Chairman Hamilton. Thank you, Mr. Secretary.

Mr. Lantos.

Mr. Lantos. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Welcome, Mr. Secretary.

STATUS OF JERUSALEM

Mr. Secretary, I would like to begin with the question of Jerusa-
lem. As you know, the U.S. Congress has passed several resolutions
supporting Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel. And the
Declaration of Principles leaves Jerusalem as a final issue to be re-
solved during the discussion of the final status of relations between
Israel and her neighbors. Yet, there have been repeated attempts
by Arafat and the PLO to undermine these very clear principles
and agreements by having official meetings in Jerusalem with Pal-
estinian and U.S. officials.

I would like first to ask you whether the Clinton administration
fully supports the principle concerning Jerusalem as being viewed
as the undivided capital of Israel, and the fact that no discussion
of that matter can take place during this transitional period?

Mr. Pelletreau. Well, we support and agree with the declara-
tion in the Declaration of Principles between Israel and the Pal-
estinians, that Jerusalem will be a final status question and a final
status issue. We are not ourselves going to take any positions that
are inconsistent with that.

We think that is a wise course that has been decided between
the parties and that they should have the full leeway to continue
on the course that they have set. It is true that there have been
some meetings in Jerusalem between Israelis and Palestinians as
agreed to by the two governments — by the two parties, and when
that occurs, I don't think it is the position of the United States that
we should object to that.

We should let the two parties proceed to develop their coexist-
ence through their direct negotiations as the best way of proceed-



ing, because it is only through direct negotiations between them,
without outside imposition

Mr. Lantos. I am not talking about their meetings. I am talking
about other officials meeting with the PLO.

Mr. Pelletreau. We are conducting an assistance program to
the Palestinians to help them in their economic development, and
in doing that, we have numerous meetings with members of the
Palestinian authority. But I can assure you, Mr. Lantos, that we
do not have meetings on assistance matters with members of the
Palestinian authority in Jerusalem. We have those meetings in
areas that the Palestinian authority operates in. And we have not
had any meetings of that sort in Jerusalem.

SYRIA AND TERRORISM

Mr. Lantos. Now, I would like to turn to the question of the re-
lationship between Syria and a variety of terrorist organizations
still operating on Syrian-controlled territory, whether in Syria or in
the Bekaa Valley or in the south of Lebanon. I would like to have
you delineate for us exactly what our Government's understanding
is of Syria's support or acquiescence in these ongoing terrorist ac-
tivities.

Mr. Pelletreau. Syria provides safe haven and support to a va-
riety of organizations that are engaged in terrorism activities.
Some of these are what we group together as the Palestinian
rejectionist organizations, such as Ahmed Jibril's general command
of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

One of these is also Hezbollah, which operates in southern Leb-
anon largely and does have support from the Syrian Government.
Another one of these is the PKK, the Kurdish opposition group
from Turkey. And Syria, again, provides safe haven and possible
training areas for the PKK

Mr. Lantos. In view of your testimony, I take it there is no con-
templation of removing Syria from the list of countries that support
terrorism?

Mr. Pelletreau. It is our hope that over time, as progress in the
peace process continues, that Syrian policies toward these organi-
zations will also change and that this would give way to an even-
tual removal of Syria from the terrorism list.

Mr. Lantos. Well, I fully share your hope.

Given the realities that you have just described, is there any in-
tention on the part of the administration to remove Syria from the
list of countries supporting terrorism?

Mr. Pelletreau. There is not so long as Syria is continuing to
provide safe haven and support to terrorist organizations.

Mr. Lantos. Is it your intention to raise this issue with the Syr-
ian foreign minister when he comes?

Mr. Pelletreau. This is part of the overall dialogue that we con-
tinue to conduct with the Syrian authorities. Whether it will be in
the forefront of the discussion here, I can't say at this time. But
it will be part of our ongoing dialogue.

Mr. Lantos. Is it the intention of the Secretary of State to raise
this issue when he goes to the region?



Mr. Pelletreau. The Secretary has raised this issue on more
than one occasion in the past, and I am sure he will be continuing
to raise the issue.

U.S. POLICY TOWARD IRAN

Mr. Lantos. If I may conclude this round with a broader ques-
tion: it seems to those of us who have followed the Middle East for
a long time, that hopefully a new era may be dawning and there
are many positive signs. There is no point in my recounting them
because we are all familiar with these, establishment of diplomatic
relations or at least relations of various kinds, the most recent one
being the economic offices being established by Israel and Tunisia
respectively, the raising of the secondary and tertiary boycott by
the Gulf States and many other developments.

What this means, among other things, is that the region may
move toward a whole new positive and constructive era with one
very dangerous cloud on the horizon, that is, radical Islamic fun-
damentalism. The coming conflict is clearly not between Israel and
the Arab States but between secular and rational, and to some ex-
tent, democratic societies and radical Islamic fundamentalism with
its Home base in Iran.

Could you outline for us what the policy of this administration
is as of now with respect to Iran and what our statements are to
our Western European friends and to Japan, which clearly have
not yet grasped the tremendous danger that Iran holds 5 or 10
years down the road for the stability of the entire region.

Mr. Pelletreau. We have a number of differences with Iran be-
cause there are a number of Iranian policies that we object to.
Among those are Iran's continuing interest and efforts in acquiring
weapons of mass destruction; Iran's opposition to Arab-Israeli
peace, and active support for terrorist groups which are trying to
undermine that peace; Iran's subversion of other countries in the
region, more moderate countries in the region; Iran's repression of
its own population, at home and abroad. In short, Iran is acting as
an aggressive neighbor in its region, not a good neighbor, and we
would like to see a change of all these policies.

We have an ongoing dialogue within the G-7 and particularly
with the European Union and Japan. With respect to the policies
we should all follow toward Iran to try to bring about a change of
policy on the part of Iran's leaders, we have no disagreement in the
question of providing sophisticated armament for fueling Iran's ef-
forts to acquire weapons of mass destruction. We do have

Mr. Lantos. How can you say that in view of the continuing sup-
plying of weapons and systems and dual-use technologies by sev-
eral of our West European allies and Japan?

Mr. Pelletreau. We do not see our allies providing direct sup-
port to Iranian high-tech military resupply or the acquisition of
weapons of mass destruction. What we do see is that some of our
European allies and Japan are continuing to provide types of eco-
nomic assistance or credits that give Iran additional wherewithal
to follow whatever policies it likes. And this we disagree with, and
we have an ongoing dialogue with them in an effort to persuade
them to cut back on the extension of credit or the extension of as-
sistance and to call into question the assertion of some of them



that maybe they are assisting the growth of moderation in Iran.
We don't see that as happening, and this is an ongoing dialogue
and an ongoing process between us.

Mr. Lantos. Is that your testimony, Mr. Secretary, that we have
no evidence that West European companies are currently supplying
items which could be useful for developing Iran's capability in the
field of weapons of mass destruction?

Mr. Pelletrp:au. It is my testimony that in our discussions with
the governments of our allies, we have reached broad agreement
that we do not support Iranian efforts to acquire weapons of mass
destruction and we will act to prevent, each within his own legal
system, that from occurring.

Mr. Lantos. And you are satisfied that the countries of Western
Europe and Japan have prevented the export of such items to Iran?

Mr. Pelletreau. I am satisfied that it is their policy to prevent
such exports.

Mr. Lantos. Well, the question is, is the policy being imple-
mented?

Mr. Pelletheau. I am not sure we have all the information that
we could have on that subject.

Mr. Lantos. Well, I think, Mr. Chairman, we may need to have
a closed session on this because clearly the evidence that many of
us have directly contradicts the hopeful and optimistic statements
of the Secretary. I think it is important to discuss these in a closed
session.

Chairman Hamilton. The Chair will be glad to cooperate with
the gentleman from California.

Mr. Pelletreau. Would be pleased to.

Chairman Hamilton. I am sure Mr. Pelletreau would do like-
wise.

INTRODUCTION OK MEMHEItS FROM EGYPTIAN PEOPLE'S ASSEMBLY

Let me acknowledge now two members of the Egyptian People's
Assembly that have joined us.

We are very pleased to have you. We are honored to have you
in our presence this morning. Thank you very much.

You have several of your colleagues with you and we welcome all
of you to the hearing.

LIFTING OF ARAB BOYCOIT

Mr. Secretary, you began by citing a number of positive develop-
ments that have occurred here in the Middle East. Let me just pick
up on one of those, and that is this boycott issue.

Did the United States play any role in bringing about this devel-
opment in the — by the Gulf Cooperation Council on the boycott lift-
ing?

Mr. Pelletreau. Yes, we had a very active dialogue prior to that
decision.

Chairman Hamilton. And why do you think it occurred now?

Mr. Pelletreau. To go back a few weeks, we had a dialogue
with a number of Arab governments about the possibility of seek-
ing a formal lifting of the secondary and tertiary boycotts at the
last session of the Arab League. That did not occur. But in the



aftermath of that meeting, we followed up with a number of gov-
ernments that had reacted in a more positive manner.

Chairman Hamilton. What I am trying to understand is what
is really driving this decision on their part at this point.

Mr. Pelletreau. I think they are seeing the positive develop-
ments that are taking place on all the tracks, including the Syrian
track. They understand increasingly the argument that we make
that in order for American firms to participate fully in Palestinian
economic development, they need to have the assurance that they
can trade freely in both directions. That is the kind of incentive
they need.

Chairman Hamilton. So there are both political and economic
factors operating here?

Mr. Pelletreau. I think there are both types of factors.

Chairman Hamilton. Do you think the next step will be taken
any time soon, to do away with the primary boycott?

Mr. Pelletreau. I think that this will come along as progress
continues to be made on the bilateral tracks, particularly on the
Syrian track. This will be the kind of action that

Chairman Hamilton. You especially link the progress on the
Syrian track with the Arab boycott?

Mr. Pelletreau. Well, I do that only because I have heard a
number of Arab leaders in our discussions with them refer to the
importance of progress on the Syrian track.

Chairman Hamilton. Have any other Arab States indicated a
willingness to follow the Gulf lead here in the relaxation of the boy-
cott?

Mr. Pelletreau. We have not really had many discussions since
that action was taken last Friday. But it was part, for example, of
the Jordanian-Israeli-Washington delegation that their organiza-
tion would have as one of their objectives removing the economic
barriers to trade between them.

Chairman Hamilton. Did the United States play a role in the es-
tablishment of the ties between Israel and Tunisia?

Mr. Pelletreau. We have certainly encouraged movement in
that direction, but the actual move that took place took place as
a result of direct contacts between them.

SYRIAN TRACK

Chairman Hamilton. We had a visit just a few days ago from
the Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister, Mr. Beilin. And among other
things, he said to us was — and perhaps to you as well — that the op-
portunity to achieve a breakthrough in the Syrian negotiations dis-
appears in mid- 1995 because of Israeli elections and then followed
on by U.S. elections. Do you share the view that we have less than
a year to achieve a breakthrough on the Syrian track?

Mr. Pelletreau. Not entirely. I think it is artificial to set spe-
cific deadlines. It is fair to say that we have an opportunity that
should not be wasted right now to move with energy to achieve
that breakthrough, and they are trying to do so. But I don't want
to say and I don't think that honestly that Mr. Beilin would say
that as of July 1, 1995, everybody has to rest on his orders because
we can't accomplish anything more. In point of fact, there are no
elections in July 1995, and



8

Chairman Hamilton. Well, do you — I think the point he was
making is that as you move toward elections in these two coun-
tries, the prospect of achieving a breakthrough diminishes.

Mr. Pelletreau. There may be some

Chairman Hamilton. If you don't want to agree, that is OK.

Mr. Pelletreau. That is OK. Since we are in the realm of specu-
lative thinking here.

Chairman Hamilton. Yes.

Mr. Pelletreau. It may be that that perception exists out there,
and history has shown that as you draw closer to elections in var-
ious countries, certain types of moves get more difficult to take.
But it doesn't mean that they are impossible. It doesn't mean that
if we don't achieve a breakthrough before the U.S. or Israeli elec-
tions — and I hope we do, but if we don't, it doesn't mean that the


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