- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 10, 2003

TURKEY

Rabbinate notes death of ‘Turkish Schindler’

ISTANBUL — An ex-diplomat known as the “Turkish Schindler” for saving Jews in World War II has died at age 89, Istanbul’s rabbinate said yesterday.

Selahattin Ulkuman died in an Istanbul hospital Saturday. While serving as Turkish consul-general on the Greek island of Rhodes, he prevented occupying Germans from deporting 42 Turkish Jewish families to the death camp at Auschwitz. Mr. Ulkuman’s son, Ufuk, was quoted in yesterday’s Hurriyet newspaper as saying the Nazis later bombed their home on Rhodes, killing Mr. Ulkuman’s wife, “because he had protected the Jews by giving them Turkish passports.”

Oskar Schindler, a German businessman, operated a factory in occupied Poland and saved over 1,000 of his Jewish workers as the Russians drove the Germans from Warsaw at the end of World War II. His story was made into the 1993 Academy Award-winning film “Schindler’s List,” directed by Steven Spielberg.

EGYPT

Intelligence chief persuades Palestinians

CAIRO — Egypt went to the rescue of the Palestinian Authority this week when it decided to send a senior envoy to persuade hard-line factions to temporarily halt attacks against Israel.

Egypt’s intelligence chief, Gen. Omar Suleiman, acting on a request from the government of Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas, was sent to the West Bank on Monday to “propose a truce for a certain period of time,” a Palestinian diplomat said.

Palestinian groups carried out a deadly attack against Israeli soldiers Sunday in defiance of Mr. Abbas’ call at a peace summit in Aqaba, Jordan, last week for an end to the armed intifada. Mohammed Sobeih, the Palestinian ambassador to the Arab League here, said Gen. Suleiman would also meet Israeli officials and push for “a halt by Israel of acts of violence against the Palestinians.”

SAUDI ARABIA

Yemen will combat border arms smuggling

RIYADH — Saudi Arabia and Yemen have signed an agreement to combat cross-border arms-smuggling and terrorism, after reports that explosives used in last month’s Riyadh attacks may have come from Yemen, the official SPA news agency reports.

The pact to “regulate border authorities” between the two Gulf Arab neighbors was signed in Riyadh late Sunday by Yemeni Interior Minister Rashad al-Olaimi and his Saudi counterpart, Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz. Prince Nayef said “decisive and effective measures” are required.

At least 35 persons were killed and 194 others wounded in the triple May 12 suicide attacks in the Saudi capital carried out by at least 12 bombers, believed to be members of Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda terror network.

Weekly notes …

Italy will propose to the United States drawing up a peace “road map” for Syria and Lebanon as part of efforts for a comprehensive Middle East settlement, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said in Damascus on Monday. Mr. Frattini, speaking to reporters after talks with Syrian President Bashar al Assad, said, “A new initiative including Syria and Lebanon is possible under the framework of the European Union. Italy will discuss this with the United States, given the strong relations [Rome] has with all the parties.” … The editor of the Kuwaiti daily Al-Watan said Monday he was questioned by the public prosecutor last weekend for urging the emirate’s Al-Sabah ruling family not to meddle in upcoming parliamentary elections. “I was referred to the public prosecutor in a bid to deter others” from making similar remarks, Mohammed Abdul Kader al Jassem told Agence France-Presse.

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