- The Washington Times - Monday, February 4, 2008

FRANCE

Relations broached with North Korea

SEOUL — A French foreign ministry delegation has visited North Korea to discuss developing relations between the two nations, Pyongyang’s state media said yesterday.

France is one of a handful of European Union members yet to forge full diplomatic ties with the communist North.

The French team, which ended its five-day trip on Saturday, was in talks “on the issue of developing the relations between the two countries” and other matters, said the Korean Central News Agency.

BRITAIN

NATO countries urged to help

LONDON — Britain wants some of its NATO allies to start pulling their weight more in Afghanistan, International Development Secretary Douglas Alexander said yesterday ahead of crunch talks on the issue.

Germany and France are among the nations which have been criticized for failing to send forces to the areas where fighting is the most intense.

“We’ve made clear to our NATO partners that we do want to see appropriate burden sharing, not simply in terms of the number of troops on the ground, but where those troops are committed within Afghanistan,” Mr. Alexander told the British Broadcasting Corp.

RUSSIA

Chechen rebels kill two policemen

MOSCOW — Two Russian policemen have been killed and a third injured in a clash with rebel fighters in Chechnya, the Russian news agencies Interfax and RIA Novosti reported yesterday.

The violence broke out in a wooded area near the village of Mesedoi, southeast of the provincial capital Grozny, the agencies quoted police sources as saying.

The rebel fighters stole weapons carried by the police, including a machine gun, a sniper’s rifle, submachine guns and grenades, the police sources said.

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