Bush and Shamir to hold meeting in December

November 29, 1990|By Cox News Service

WASHINGTON -- President Bush and Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir of Israel have set their first meeting since the Persian Gulf crisis began, the White House announced yesterday.

The talks are slated for Dec. 11, when Mr. Shamir is making a private visit to Washington.

Throughout the tense Gulf crisis, Mr. Bush has kept in touch, often through telephone conversations, with numerous leaders. But he has not spoken directly with Mr. Shamir.

At their talks next month, Mr. Bush is expected to seek assurances that the Israelis will not use $400 million in new U.S. housing loan guarantees for settlements in occupied East Jerusalem.

Israel, recipient of $3 billion in U.S. assistance each year, is expected to press for additional weaponry.

But one issue that rankles the Israelis may not come up at the White House. Israel is known to be unhappy with Mr. Bush's courting of Syria, one of Israel's most bitter enemies, as an ally against Iraq. Mr. Bush met with Syria's President Hafez el Assad last week in Geneva to help cement the Syrian role in the anti-Iraq coalition.

An administration official said that the issue of Syria may come up, but not as a topic for debate. "I think we're going to explain why we are going to deal with Syria whether they like it or not," said the aide.

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