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September 23, 1991 – CBS World News Roundup – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
September 23, 1991 – Upheaval and change were the magic words for this day. President Bush was slated to address the United Nations General Assembly this day – in addition to his expected remarks regarding the state of the world after the Cold War, a denunciation of and a call for repeal of a 1975 resolution equating Zionism with racism, as well as stern words of warning for Iraq’s Saddam Hussein. At issue was the use of helicopters for the UN inspection teams. On this day, the biggest inspection team was arriving in Baghdad to begin a tour of facilities ordered to comply with demands of the UN to surrender all chemical weapons and weapons of mass destruction.
A fragile truce was appearing to hold in Croatia between Yugoslavia’s Federal Army and Croatian rebels. The Yugoslav Navy in the Adriatic was lifting its blockade of Croatian ports.
In Algiers, the PLO Parliament in exile was holding its first meeting in three years with PLO leader Yassar Arafat saying he’s ready to lift obstacles to Middle East peace talks and cooperate with “all the parties”. At the center of the discussions was going to be the U.S. letter of assurances to the Palestinians. Two radical factions had already rejected the proposals and many delegates were expected to follow suit. The PLO was deeply unhappy with certain omissions from the letter. Namely, no reference to self-determination for the Palestinians. No role for the PLO in the peace conference and no assurances for the state of Jerusalem. They were also disappointed the U.S. did not call for an immediate halt to the building of Israeli settlements in the occupied territories. That, and internal disagreements within the PLO were going to make it very difficult week ahead.
And in the former Soviet republic of Tajikistan, hardline legislators forced reformist President Kadriddin Aslonov to resign in what was seen as the first revolt of Communists against reformers in the breakaway republic. Many felt, and rightly so, that these moves could signal the beginnings of a civil war in Tajikistan between the old guard and reformers.
And that’s just small slice of what went on, this September 23, 1991 as reported by The CBS World News Roundup.