- The Washington Times - Monday, April 4, 2005

KYRGYZSTAN

Ousted leader to resign

MOSCOW — President Askar Akayev, who fled the country last month after demonstrators stormed his offices, said he will resign today.

Mr. Akayev met for three hours yesterday with a delegation representing Kyrgyzstan’s interim leadership and later told reporters that a protocol for his resignation had been completed.

Delegation leaders and Mr. Akayev both said the agreement would help restore stability in Kyrgyzstan, which has been on edge since opposition supporters stormed the presidential building in the capital, Bishkek, on March 24.

BRITAIN

Thatcher son to move after U.S. visa denied

LONDON — Mark Thatcher said yesterday he was refused a visa to enter the United States because of his conviction in South Africa related to a failed coup plot in Equatorial Guinea.

The 51-year-old son of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher had been hoping to join his American-born wife, Diane, and his two children, who have been living in the United States.

“As a result of this decision, I shall make the family home in Europe, not the UK, and my family will be joining me as soon as arrangements are made,” Thatcher told the British Broadcasting Corp. “But the children will continue to be educated in America.”

AFGHANISTAN

Aid dispute flares before donor forum

KABUL — President Hamid Karzai’s new government will plead for more control over the purse strings at a meeting of donor countries this week, hoping to speed reconstruction and involve more Afghan companies.

Mr. Karzai yesterday met ambassadors and representatives of the United Nations and donor countries to explain why the Cabinet gave its blessing last week to a draft law barring private relief groups from tendering for government projects.

He rebuked some such groups “for squandering the precious resources that Afghanistan received in aid from the international community.”

ALGERIA

Human rights groups seek probe of missing

ALGIERS — Human rights groups yesterday called for an independent investigation into the detentions and disappearances of thousands of civilians at the hands of security forces during the 1990s.

A government commission recently said more than 6,000 civilians were feared dead after being wrongly suspected in a war on Islamist militants, but placed the blame on agents acting individually.

“Unfortunately there is no political will to search for the truth. These disappearances were not isolated incidents,” said the president of the National Association of the Families of the Disappeared.

EGYPT

Israeli agent honors draw Cairo’s ire

CAIRO — Egypt is astonished at Israel’s tribute to nine Egyptian Jews recruited by the Jewish state to carry out “terrorist operations” in Cairo and Alexandria in the 1950s, the foreign minister said.

Israeli President Moshe Katsav last week honored the nine, who were recruited by Israel to scuttle Cairo’s rapprochement with the United States and Britain by firebombing sites frequented by foreigners in the cities.

Israel hoped the attacks, which caused no casualties, would be blamed on insurgents, but the young Zionist bombers were caught and confessed at public trials. Two were hanged and the rest served jail terms and migrated to Israel.

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