- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 19, 2001

Saudis ratify pact with Iran
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia The Saudi government has ratified a security pact it signed with Iran in April to fight drug trafficking and terrorism, a newspaper said yesterday.
"The Cabinet, meeting Monday under the chairmanship of King Fahd, ratified the accord signed by Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz" and his Iranian counterpart, Abdolvahed Moussavi-Lari, Al-Riyadh reported.
Regional powers Iran and Saudi Arabia signed the agreement during a landmark visit to Tehran by Prince Nayef, the first Saudi interior minister to visit Iran since its 1979 Islamic revolution.
The pact between Saudi Arabia and Iran respectively the No. 1 and No. 2 oil producers in the OPEC cartel also touches on money laundering, border surveillance and territorial waters in the Persian Gulf.

Turkish rights activist fears crisis atmosphere
ANKARA, Turkey A top rights activist here fears that plans to ease tight legal curbs on civil freedoms could founder on growing national security worries, especially in the military.
Yavuz Onen, head of the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey, said last week's attacks in New York and Washington had made national security an overriding priority in the conservative establishment. Individual rights could take a back seat.
Turkey's three-party government proposed to parliament this week as part of preparations to qualify for European Union membership revision of 37 articles of a constitution drawn up under military rule in 1982.

British warplanes hit southern Iraq
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia British Tornado warplanes bombed a southern Iraqi anti-aircraft missile site yesterday for "hostile activities" by Iraq against planes patrolling a no-fly zone, a U.S. Air Force officer said.
The attack targeted a position near Basra, 350 miles south of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, said Maj. Brett Morris, spokesman for the Saudi-based Joint Task Force South West Asia.
An unidentified Iraqi military spokesman confirmed the Basra attack, telling the official Iraqi News Agency that "our courageous ground resistance" returned fire on the planes, forcing them to turn back "in shame." The agency reported no casualties.

Weekly notes
The new cease-fire in the Middle East was brought about through the efforts of German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, Germany's NTV television said yesterday, adding that Mr. Fischer was flying to Washington for talks today with U.S. government leaders on the Middle East situation. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad held talks yesterday at Sharm el Sheik on the situation in the region after last week's attacks in the United States. Spokesmen said the two would also discuss developments in the Palestinian territories, but did not specify whether this would include yesterday's cease-fire moves by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian President Yasser Arafat.

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