Diplomatic Front: The United States accused Iraq of blocking agreement on dates for U.S.-Iraqi talks. A State Department spokesman said Iraq continues to insist that Secretary of State James A. Baker III meet with Iraqi President Saddam Hussein on Jan. 12, a date rejected by Washington as too close to the U.N. deadline for Iraq’s withdrawal from Kuwait.
Military Front: Hussein replaced his defense minister with a young lieutenant general who fought in the 1980-88 war against Iran and is considered a supporter of Hussein’s hard-line stance. Iraq also announced it has set up 370 civil defense training centers in Baghdad and ordered landlords to build air-raid shelters.
Coalition Front: Germany and Japan disputed a U.S. accusation that they have delivered only about one-fifth of the aid they promised to assist Operation Desert Shield and countries most harshly affected by sanctions against Iraq.
Germany claimed it has made available more than half of the aid. Japan said that while it has spent only $600 million of the $4 billion pledged, it is about to disburse another $600 million.
Major Contributors Pledging Persian Gulf Aid:
Saudi Arabia: $10 billion
Kuwait: $5 billion
Japan: $4 billion
Germany: $2 billion
European Community: $2 billion