- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 24, 2007

IRAN

Solana says nuke talks constructive

LISBON — European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana said his talks yesterday with Iran’s nuclear chief were constructive and he hoped for another round in three weeks.

“It has been a constructive meeting … I have to tell you that probably in three weeks we will try to see if we can meet again,” Mr. Solana told reporters after four hours of discussions with Iranian negotiator Ali Larijani in Lisbon.

Mr. Larijani said Iran wants to settle its nuclear dispute with the West through diplomacy, but refuses to halt its suspect nuclear programs.

NORTH KOREA

Russia confirms money transfer

MOSCOW — Russian officials yesterday confirmed the transfer of disputed North Korean funds into a Russian bank, saying they hoped the transaction would help diplomatic efforts to curb North Korea’s nuclear program.

“The transfer of North Korean money from Macao into a Russian commercial bank has now been completed,” said Mikhail Kamynin, a Russian foreign ministry spokesman.

The funds, about $25 million, were frozen by the United States in a Macao bank in 2005 on suspicion of money-laundering and counterfeiting.

COLOMBIA

Rebels blamed in bombing spree

BOGOTA — A wave of bombings in Colombia’s most violent city wounded 23 persons late Friday, and Colombian troops defused another two bombs yesterday. Authorities blamed the bombings on rebels seeking revenge for the killing of a regional guerrilla commander.

The mayor’s office in Buenaventura, Colombia’s largest port and a major transit point for cocaine leaving the country, declared a nighttime curfew following the seven nearly simultaneous explosions, and security forces increased patrols yesterday.

In an interview with Caracol radio, mayoral spokesman Saulo Quinones blamed Latin America’s largest rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, for the attacks. Earlier this month, the navy killed the local rebel commander.

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