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THE WEEK AHEAD

WASHINGTON : Key Visit for Rabin

March 08, 1994

What Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin originally planned as a routine visit to Washington next week could prove to be pivotal in the Middle East peace process as Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization attempt to bring their negotiations on Palestinian self-government to a conclusion.

In the wake of the Hebron massacre, Rabin trimmed what was to have been a visit of 10 days to just four. However, his advisers suggested Monday that, during the visit, he might be able to sign an agreement with PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat on implementing the accord reached in Washington six months ago.

Even without a new agreement to sign with the PLO, Rabin's visit has become a deadline for resolving issues in domestic politics. Among these issues are broadening his minority government before he leaves, and in economic policy, how to spend the funds raised under U.S.-guaranteed loans.

Under present plans, Rabin leaves Jerusalem next Monday and returns Friday.

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