1975: In a pact with Morocco and Mauritania, Spain agrees to relinquish what was then called Spanish Sahara—today referred to as Western Sahara. Morocco pledges to hold a referendum on the status of the Western Sahara but annexes the region in 1976 instead, triggering a long war with the Polisario Front, an Algerian-based guerilla force holding out for independence. In 2007, Morocco and the Polisario began negotiating over an autonomy plan.
- Western Sahara Info., an excellent blog on Western Sahara and North Africa affairs
- Le Desert, Nobel Prize winner jean-Marie Le Clezio’s novel set in Western Sahara and the North African desert.
1981: The Saudi Arabian ambassador to the United Nations, Gaafar M. Allagany, tells The New York Times that an eight-point Saudi Arab-Israeli peace plan put forward that August “does recognize Israel” explicitly. “It says ‘all states.’ We are not afraid to say that it does recognize Israel. We are not shying away from that word ‘Israel’ in any sense.” Until that point, Reagan administration and other Saudi officials understood the peace plan as only implying recognition of Israel. The Saudi government disavows Allagany's comments two days later. The Saudi press agency releases a statement, saying "the eight points were clear and did not need interpretation."
- The 1981 Saudi Peace Plan
- The 2002 Bush Road Map For Peace: Analysis
- The 2002 Bush Road Map For Peace: Analysis: Five Years Later
- Status of Jerusalem as Capital of Israel
- America’s Pro-Israel Bias
1979: As a result of the Iranian hostage crisis, U.S. President Jimmy Carter freezes about $8 billion in Iranian assets in the United States by signing executive order 12170.
1991: American and Scottish authorities indict two Libyan intelligence agents in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Scotland that killed 270 people. The Bush administration blames Libya’s Col. Muammar el Qaddafi for the attack and absolves Iran and Syria of a role. The indictments were issued against Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, 39, and Lamen Khalifa Fhimah, 35.
- Profile: Libya’s Muammar el-Qaddafi
- The “Mad Dog of the Middle East” Meets His “Leezza”
- When Ronald Reagan Called Qaddafi “Mad Dog”
- Qaddafi à Paris
- Libya: Country Profile
2002: The U.S. House of Representatives votes 366-3, with 62 members not voting, to create a commission to investigate the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The measure is part of the Intelligence Authorization bill for fiscal year 2003. The measure had passed the U.S. Senate on Sept. 25, 2002.