- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 5, 2005

JORDAN

King replaces al-Fayez government

AMMAN — King Abdullah II fired the Cabinet of Prime Minister Faisal al-Fayez yesterday and designated an academic, Adnan Badran, to form a new government after weeks of diplomatic tension with Jordan’s neighbors and opposition parties.

In a move apparently intended dispel speculation that the king was angry with Mr. al-Fayez, he issued a royal decree appointing him chief of the Hashemite Royal Court, a position that Mr. al-Fayez held before he was named prime minister in 2003.

Abdullah issued another decree naming Mr. al-Fayez’s deputy prime minister, Marwan Muasher, to be Royal Court minister, although Mr. Badran was still consulting with the king on choosing his ministers. The change of government followed weeks of what has been seen in Amman as its weak performance in dealing with domestic and regional issues.

IRAQ

Oil export to resume via Turkish port

BAGHDAD — Iraq will start exporting oil through the Turkish port of Ceyhan on the Mediterranean Sea in few days, after an interruption of more than a year and a half.

Sources at the Iraqi Oil Ministry said yesterday that the operation will start as soon as measures have been put into place to secure the pipeline linking the oil fields of Kirkuk, Iraq, to the Mediterranean port.

They said strict measures will be implemented to deter saboteurs who have prevented Iraq from exporting an estimated 500,000 barrels per day through Ceyhan. Before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq two years ago, the country exported 1.5 million barrels per day, mostly through its southern ports on the Persian Gulf.

KUWAIT

Minister takes blame for hospital assaults

KUWAIT CITY — Health Minister Mohammad al-Jarallah said yesterday that he would submit his resignation amid pressure from lawmakers after a spate of assaults and rapes in hospitals.

The announcement came as 10 Kuwaiti lawmakers submitted a no-confidence motion after the minister was questioned for 11 hours by parliament member Daifallah Buramia, who blames him for irregularities. Mr. al-Jarallah told state-run Kuwait News Agency after the session that he would submit his resignation to Prime Minister Sheik Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jabir al-Sabah.

Mr. Buramia said the minister failed to prevent attacks in public hospitals, including the rape of a patient who was eight months pregnant and an attempt to rape a doctor two weeks ago. He also accused the minister of squandering and embezzling millions of dollars of public funds.

Weekly notes

Thousands of students demonstrated across Egypt yesterday seeking to end the 24-year-old state of emergency and demanding more constitutional and political reforms. The demonstrations were the latest in recent weeks by activists demanding tangible political reforms and opposing a fifth consecutive term for President Hosni Mubarak. … Iran cannot agree to give up the peaceful use of atomic power and retains the right to resume “nuclear activities,” Iranian President Mohammed Khatami told Le Figaro newspaper yesterday at the start of a 24-hour visit to Paris. Mr. Khatami, a moderate who is expected to leave power in June, was to see President Jacques Chirac for talks on the nuclear issue. He earlier addressed a conference at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

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