- The Washington Times - Friday, September 1, 2000

Turkey's Islamists called destroyers

ISTANBUL Turkey's influential military chief was quoted yesterday as saying thousands of militant Islamists were working to destroy the state and the government's prestige was at stake in combating the advance.
Chief of General Staff Huseyin Kivrikoglu's comments coincide with a crackdown on prominent Islamist figures in Turkey.
A prosecutor formally charged Muslim sect leader Fethullah Gulen yesterday with activities aimed at "replacing the secular state with one based on religious principles and forming an illegal organization in order to reach that goal."
Mr. Gulen, an influential preacher living in the United States, faces a 10-year jail term.

De Klerk sees harmony starting to crumble

JOHANNESBURG Former South African President F.W. de Klerk broke a long silence yesterday to warn that the racial harmony that marked the transition from apartheid to democracy was starting to crumble.
Mr. de Klerk, the white Afrikaner who transferred power to Nelson Mandela in 1994, said in a statement that whites, mixed-race coloreds and Asians were feeling alienated and increasingly afraid.
"The positive relations that we experienced in 1994 are beginning to unravel," he said in response to President Thabo Mbeki's analysis of post-apartheid race relations Wednesday.

Tiananmen students praised by Jiang

NEW YORK In a rare admission, Chinese Communist leader Jiang Zemin says he sympathized with the passions for freedom and democracy that drove students into Tiananmen Square 11 years ago.
President Jiang recalled his own days as a student protester against Japan's occupation of China in the 1940s in an interview with CBS' "60 Minutes." The comparison was brought up by correspondent Mike Wallace.
"In the 1989 disturbances, we truly understood the passion of students who were calling for greater democracy and freedom," he said.
Mr. Jiang then defended the crackdown. He accused people he did not identify of trying to "use the students to overthrow the government."

South America chiefs open first summit

BRASILIA Twelve South American presidents opened their first summit yesterday, worrying about the possible spillover from Colombia's anti-drug offensive and U.S. military involvement.
The two-day summit was convened by Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso to discuss integrating the region's economies, strengthening its democratic institutions and improving education and technology.
But the consequences of the all-out drug war known as Plan Colombia has taken on a greater immediacy for its neighbors.

Suriname hints wishes for Dutch patch-up

PARAMARIBO, Suriname Suriname's new government told the Netherlands yesterday it wanted to patch up relations with its former colonial ruler, seriously strained by the previous Surinamese administration's ties to former military strongman Desi Bouterse.
A former Dutch colony of 450,000 people located on South America's northeastern shoulder, Suriname has looked to the Netherlands for aid and commercial ties since gaining independence in 1975.
In a diplomatic note sent to Dutch Prime Minister Wim Kok yesterday, Surinamese President Ronald Venetiaan proposed a resumption of top-level meetings between the two governments as soon as possible.

Hassan takes over in Somali capital

MOGADISHU, Somalia Enjoying his first full day in Somalia as the troubled country's head of state, President Abdiqasim Salad Hassan warned yesterday that without the will of the people there can be no effective government.
The new leader, who was inaugurated as the nation's first president in almost a decade Sunday in neighboring Djibouti, said he wanted reconciliation with the armed faction leaders and would bring stability to Somalia.
"Through peaceful means and reconciliation, we can maintain our unity and achieve prosperity," he told a jubilant audience of businessmen, adding that his government would work "under the principles of Somali tradition."

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