And he also agrees with Bush that the issue of a Palestinian state should not be tied to the planned negotiations with Iraq.

In Baghdad, the ruling Revolutionary Command Council accepted Bush's offer to send Secretary of State James Baker there for negotiations, but linked the resolution of the gulf crisis to an Israeli withdrawal from occupied Arab lands. The five-man council is chaired by Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.Hatch is to meet Sunday and Monday with top Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir. He plans to explore a variety of issues - not the least of which will be security in the region and in the Israeli-occupied territories.

"We'll discuss all kinds of intelligence and security matters. (Among other things) we want to know what Israel knows about Saddam's intentions - especially in regard to Jordan," Hatch told the Deseret News.

Of Bush's invitation to Baghdad to participate in high-level meetings, Hatch said the president is "looking very good - especially after pulling off what has to be one of the great historical coups in the United Nations.

"If he can get Congress to back us on the use of force - which I think he will - it will be another historic first."

Although Hatch agrees with Bush that the Palestinian issue must be considered separately, the issue is still very much on the minds of residents here.