- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 10, 2002

German diplomat has new Mideast plan

BERLIN German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer has drafted a new plan for resolving the Middle East crisis and will present it to his European Union counterparts next week, a senior government source confirmed yesterday.

News of the plan comes as U.S. Secretary of State Colin L. Powell makes a series of visits to Arab nations and Europe on his way to Israel, where he has been sent by President Bush to help bring an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Two German newspapers reported yesterday that Mr. Fischer's plan foresees a total separation of the two parties, an Israeli withdrawal from recently occupied Palestinian territories, the closure of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and the declaration of a provisional Palestinian state.

Turkey jails Kurdish leader

ANKARA, Turkey A Turkish state security court yesterday sentenced the former chairman of the pro-Kurdish People's Party to 10 months in jail for undermining the country's unity, the Anatolia news agency reported.

The crime stemmed from a speech Ahmet Turan Demir made at a party congress in November 2000 that the indictment claimed was "aimed at harming the unity and indivisibility of the state," the report said.

The agency did not elaborate on what Mr. Demir had said at the congress.

Turkish authorities regularly crack down on the People's Party, detaining or jailing its members for separatism or links with the Kurdistan Workers Party, which led a 15-year armed campaign against the Anakara government demanding Kurdish self-rule in the country's southeast.

Jordan sends blood to Palestinians

AMMAN, Jordan Jordan ferried by helicopter 1,000 blood units to the West Bank yesterday and sent 14 trucks carrying urgent food and medical supplies, as Israel kept up its offensive against the Palestinians, officials said.

The blood donated by the Health Ministry was flown into the besieged town of Ramallah by Jordanian military helicopter, the national news agency Petra reported.

The Hashemite Charity Organisation also sent to the West Bank 14 trucks carrying each around 18 to 20 tons of food and medical supplies, the agency said.

Health Minister Faleh Nasser said the aid was also sent to Ramallah and was the first installment of aid for the Palestinians, adding that Monday's shipment included $2 million worth of medicine.

Iranian lawmakers protest against Israel

TEHRAN The majority of Iran's 290 members of parliament held an anti-Israeli demonstration in the streets of Tehran early yesterday, expressing their solidarity with the Palestinian people.

"Sharon is a criminal, Bush is his accomplice" and "We are here to support Palestine" chanted the lawmakers as they marched to the Palestinian representative office, referring to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and President Bush.

Weekly notes

Queen Rania of Jordan on Monday brought together thousands of Jordanians at a solidarity brunch and march in support of Palestinian human rights in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. Around 2,000 women responded to an invitation by Queen Rania's Jordan River Foundation to attend a benefit brunch in Amman, spending $28 for a frugal meal whose proceeds will go to the Palestinians, organizers said. Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah pledged Saudi Arabia's full support to the Palestinianpeople in a telephone conversation with their leader, Yasser Arafat, the Saudi Press Agency said Monday.

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