- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 17, 2001

Powell pushes help for Azerbaijan
The State Department is pushing Congress to waive long-standing sanctions against Azerbaijan, citing the country's considerable contributions to the war on terrorism.
In an Oct. 15 letter to Congress, obtained by United Press International, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell writes, "The President has asked me to request your support for providing legislative authority that would allow assistance to the Republic of Azerbaijan."
Mr. Powell then writes that the Caucasus-nestled country "has granted the United States overflight rights, the use of its air bases, and has provided critical intelligence cooperation."

Blast in Kosovo wrecks party offices
PRISTINA, Yugoslavia An explosion and fire destroyed the offices of Kosovo's two main political parties in a southern town yesterday in the first major outbreak of violence in advance of elections. No one was injured.
The early-morning blast in Suva Reka appeared to have been an attack aimed at the local headquarters of the leading contender in the Nov. 17 balloting, the Democratic League of Kosovo, or LDK, said Andrea Angeli, a spokeswoman for the U.N. mission in Kosovo.
The blast in the two-story building touched off a fire that spread to the offices of Kosovo's second-largest party, former rebel leader Hashim Thaci's Democratic Party of Kosovo.

Peacekeepers sought for Georgia enclave
TBILISI, Georgia President Eduard Shevardnadze called yesterday for U.N. peacekeeping troops to be deployed in breakaway Abkhazia, amid reports that Georgians and Chechen rebels had entered the separatist capital, Sukhumi.
Mr. Shevardnadze told visiting officials from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe that some of the Russian peacekeepers currently in the battle zone should be recalled.
Georgia has accused Russia of actively supporting Abkhaz troops in the latest wave of violence that erupted this month, and even of carrying out air attacks on Georgian villages in the disputed Kodori gorge.

Obansanjo in Kano to quell violence
KANO, Nigeria Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday visited the northern city of Kano, where more than 100 people died in weekend rioting sparked by a Muslim rally against U.S.-led air strikes on Afghanistan.
On his arrival at the airport, Mr. Obasanjo made straight for Bukaru military barracks, where about 5,000 residents displaced by the bloody riots were taking refuge.
He warned that his government would fight against acts of violence and terrorism.

Peace-rescue group heading to Macedonia
SKOPJE, Macedonia Top European Union and NATO officials will head to Macedonia this week to try and rescue the faltering peace process they have been sponsoring between the government and ethnic-Albanian rebels.
International pressure on the former Yugoslav republic is mounting after a week of foot-dragging by Macedonian members of parliament, who have balked at making concessions to minority Albanian grievances that were secured by an armed uprising.
The European Union's foreign-policy chief, Javier Solana, and NATO Secretary-General George Robertson, who have nursed the troubled peace plan through repeated setbacks, are due in the capital of Skopje tomorrow, diplomats said.

Congo enemies clash at talks
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia Archenemies in Congo's civil war traded angry words at the start of long-awaited peace talks yesterday, showing little sign of the compromises a desperate population is praying will deliver peace.
Rebels, government representatives, political parties and civic groups are meeting in the Ethiopian capital to try to lay the foundations for a new political order in the Democratic Republic of Congo to end three years of ruinous war.
But Congolese President Joseph Kabila and key rebel leaders failed to attend the opening ceremony of a planned 45 days of discussion Monday night, fueling an atmosphere of uncertainty and shortening tempers among delegates.

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