- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 1, 2001

Bush urged to act quickly on Mideast

The foreign minister of Jordan called on the Bush administration yesterday to get involved immediately in Mideast peacemaking after Israel holds its election for prime minister next week.
The minister, Abdul-Illah Khatib, said even if Ariel Sharon succeeds Ehud Barak, the Bush administration should "not waste any time."
Mr. Sharon has accepted the principle of a Palestinian state, but is likely to offer Yasser Arafat far less territory than Mr. Barak, who was turned down anyway by the Palestinian leader. Differing also on Jerusalem with Mr. Barak, the Likud opposition leader has ruled out sharing Jerusalem with the Palestinians.
Mr. Khatib, careful not to appear to be meddling in Israel's election, said "there is a great deal of concern, and no one can deny that" over the potential outcome of the balloting.

Indonesian leader vows to stay on

JAKARTA, Indonesia Besieged Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid will not quit in the face of a parliamentary censure that could lead to his eventual impeachment, his chief spokesman said today.

Wimar Witoelar also said Mr. Wahid was unhappy with parliament's censure.

"The president will carry out his duty until 2004. He is unhappy with the result of the [parliament]," he told reporters.

Parliament yesterday agreed to reprimand the Indonesian leader for acting improperly over two corruption scandals, fueling speculation he will not survive until his term ends in 2004.

Religion panel asks stiff curbs on Sudan

A federal advisory panel on religious freedom overseas is hoping its findings of mass murder and rape of black Christians in Sudan will prompt the Bush administration to impose tougher sanctions on the East African nation.
In its first recommendation to the new administration, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom urged the United States on Tuesday to clamp down on the Sudanese government for atrocities reportedly committed against the county's black Christian minority by the Islamic majority.
The commission, which advises Congress and the president on ways to promote religious freedom abroad, suggested last year that the United States impose a military no-fly zone over Sudan and provide humanitarian aid to opposition forces.

Pinochet is placed under house arrest

BUCALEMU, Chile Chile's former dictator, Gen. Augusto Pinochet, was placed under house arrest yesterday at his country home here in advance of a possible trial on murder and kidnapping charges.
The ailing, 85-year-old Gen. Pinochet, who ruled Chile with an iron fist from 1973 to 1990, was ordered detained and officially informed of murder and kidnapping charges against him stemming from a 1973 military campaign to wipe out opposition to his rule.

FBI attends trial of Yemeni on hijack

SAN'A, Yemen FBI agents yesterday attended the final court session of a Yemeni man who hijacked a plane carrying 91 persons, including the U.S. ambassador.
Jaber Yehia Ali Sattar, who faces the death penalty if convicted, asked for a reduced sentence, saying he hijacked the plane because of "difficult circumstances," including unemployment.
"The most important thing is that no injustice is brought against me," he told the court.
A verdict will be announced Saturday.

Boucher lashes critic of U.S.-Greek links

The United States yesterday labeled as "outrageous" criticism by Greek parliamentary Speaker Apostolos Kaklamanisit of terrorism cooperation between the United States and Greece.
State Department spokesman Richard Boucher accused the speaker of being "out of touch" with U.S.-Greek relations and confirmed reports from Athens that Washington had formally complained about the remarks.
Last week, Mr. Kaklamanisit accused Washington of unduly pressuring Athens on terrorism after a U.S. congressional delegation said the Greek government faced a "challenge" in guaranteeing security at the 2004 Olympic Games.

Impeachment move under way in Indonesia

JAKARTA, Indonesia Indonesia's largest Muslim party, which nevertheless has only some 11 percent of the seats in parliament, yesterday demanded a special session be convened of the top legislative assembly, which has the power to impeach President Abdurrahman Wahid over his purported involvement in corruption scandals.
It was the harshest response so far in a debate by legislators over a parliamentary probe that found Mr. Wahid at fault over two financial scandals.
"The PPP urges the People's Consultative Assembly to soon hold a special session to ask for the president to account for his alleged involvement," Khadijiah Soleh, a member of the Muslim-backed United Development Party (PPP), said.

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