- The Washington Times - Monday, December 21, 2009


Turkey accused of religious bias

ATHENS | Greece hit back Sunday at Turkey’s criticism of the spiritual leader of Orthodox Christians for saying that minority Greeks in Turkey are treated like second-class citizens and feel “crucified sometimes.”

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, leader of some 2,000 Orthodox Greeks in largely Muslim Turkey, made the remarks in an interview with U.S. television network CBS, to be aired Sunday.

Greek’s Foreign Ministry responded that among Turkey’s obligations for joining the European Union is “that respect for the freedom of religion and the rights of minorities takes first place.”

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu rejected accusations of religious discrimination by his government. “We regard the use of the crucifixion simile as extremely unfortunate,” he said.


China blamed for summit letdown

LONDON | Britain’s climate change minister, Ed Miliband, on Sunday blamed China for blocking an accord on legally binding emissions targets and a 50 percent cut in greenhouse gases by 2050 at the Copenhagen summit.

Mr. Miliband conceded the results of the Copenhagen conference were “disappointing,” but insisted that important progress was made in the fight against global warming.

Efforts to give legal backing to the commitments in the Copenhagen accord were met with “impossible resistance from a small number of developing countries, including China, who didn’t want a legal agreement,” he said.

China insists that developed nations take on the greatest burden in cutting greenhouse gases.


Attack boosts Berlusconi appeal

ROME | Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s approval rating has risen back above 50 percent after an attack against him sparked a wave of sympathy even among opposition voters, an opinion poll showed on Sunday.

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