- The Washington Times - Friday, July 2, 2004

MONGOLIA

Opposition takes over state TV station

ULAN BATOR — Mongolia’s opposition, angry about being denied air time during disputed elections, took over state television briefly yesterday and demanded on air that the election results be recognized.

After the broadcast was over, democratic leaders came out of the building and urged hundreds of supporters, demonstrating peacefully outside, to go home, a witness said. The crowd dispersed without incident.

The ruling Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party and the Motherland Democratic Coalition were neck and neck in the election Sunday, with 36 seats each, according to preliminary results, but the coalition claimed victory with the support of three independents.

VATICAN CITY

Christian leaders urge dialogue with Islam

VATICAN CITY — Pope John Paul II and the symbolic leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians made a joint commitment yesterday to work for “real dialogue” with Islam and combat terrorism together.

The pope and Bartholomew I, the ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople, based in what is now the Turkish city of Istanbul, also signed a joint declaration for unity of the Eastern and Western branches of Christianity that split in the Great Schism of 1054.

SAUDI ARABIA

Official denies cleric was killed

RIYADH — A senior Saudi official denied yesterday that a militant killed in a shootout with police was a cleric thought to be the chief ideologist for al Qaeda in the region.

A security official said the man slain during a car chase and shootout with police was Abdullah Mohammed Rashid al-Roshoud, one of Saudi Arabia’s most wanted terror suspects.

But Prince Sattam bin Abdel-Aziz, the deputy governor of Riyadh, said al-Roshoud had not been killed in the Wednesday clash.

GERMANY

Ex-IMF chief sworn in as president

BERLIN — Former International Monetary Fund head Horst Koehler was sworn in as Germany’s ninth postwar president yesterday, and he urged his countrymen to accept painful economic reforms or see their proud “Made in Germany” symbol crumble.

Mr. Koehler, 61, said Europe’s largest economy was being overtaken by competitors and that it needed to overhaul its welfare system and job market.

SPAIN

Peacekeeping force to increase

MADRID — Spain plans to roughly double its peacekeeping forces in Afghanistan to a maximum of 1,040 troops, subject to parliamentary approval, Defense Minister Jose Bono said yesterday.

Spain, which withdrew its forces from the international coalition in Iraq earlier this year after the socialists won power, would send up to 893 fresh troops and bring home 328 of those already posted in Afghanistan, Mr. Bono said.

Spain’s parliament is scheduled to vote next week on the proposal, which would cost about $66 million.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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