- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 31, 2005

MEXICO

4 Iraqis stopped at U.S. border

MEXICO CITY — Mexican officials said yesterday they have detained four Iraqis with false passports trying to enter the United States.

Undersecretary of Interior Armando Salinas said some of the Iraqis had committed crimes such as forging documents in other countries.

A National Migration Institute spokesman said the four had been arrested upon arrival at Mexicali’s airport in northwestern Mexico, 1,700 miles northwest of the capital. They were being interrogated by Mexican prosecutors.

SYRIA

Iraq urged to free suspected spies

DAMASCUS — Syria has demanded Iraq release two Syrians who it said were forced to confess to being spies in an Iraqi television broadcast, Syria’s official news agency said yesterday.

Damascus said the men were leather merchants and that their statements aired on Al Iraqiya television earlier this month were false.

KYRGYZSTAN

Ousted leader told to stay away

BISHKEK — Kyrgyzstan’s acting President Kurmanbek Bakiyev told ousted President Askar Akayev to stay away from the country for now, warning yesterday that his return could cause more unrest.

Mr. Akayev, who fled this former Soviet republic last week after violent protests, hinted in a Russian television interview Tuesday that he might be willing to submit a formal resignation if he received security guarantees from parliament. He also said he wanted to come home.

Another key opposition figure, Felix Kulov, resigned as coordinator of law-enforcement agencies yesterday, saying he succeeded in bringing order back to Bishkek’s streets. Some interpreted Mr. Kulov’s resignation as a sign he was positioning himself to run for the presidency.

CHINA

Taiwan offered economic deals

BEIJING — Beijing proposed economic sweeteners for Taiwan at a meeting late yesterday with the island’s opposition Nationalist Party, which once ruled all of China, to soften the blow of a law that mandates war.

The anti-secession law, passed on March 14, has backfired diplomatically. Hundreds of thousands took to Taipei’s streets on Saturday in protest, and the European Union may delay lifting its arms embargo on China, which has claimed Taiwan as its own since the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949.

ISRAEL

Palestinians fire at Abbas compound

RAMALLAH, West Bank — Gunmen linked to the ruling Palestinian faction Fatah fired at Palistinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ compound yesterday, causing no casualties.

The half-dozen assailants, who also rampaged in restaurants in Ramallah, identified themselves as breakaway Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade members who have rejected a request by the Palestinian Authority to lay down their arms.

PAKISTAN

China security concern delays port opening

KARACHI — Pakistan has delayed the inauguration of a Chinese-financed deep-sea port as security fears mean Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao will be unable to go there next week during a visit to Pakistan, officials said.

The $248 million port at Gawadar, 300 miles west of Karachi, was completed in January, 12 weeks ahead of schedule.

Pakistani authorities had planned its formal inauguration during Mr. Wen’s visit next week, but Pakistani officials and an official of the Chinese Embassy said he would not be going there. Last year, a bomb killed three Chinese technicians working on the Gawadar project.

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