- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 11, 2002

SYRIA
Kurdish demonstrators charge discrimination
DAMASCUS Minority Kurds demonstrated yesterday outside the Syrian parliament to protest what they called a government policy of discrimination against their community.
About 150 Kurds took part in the protest, carrying signs saying "Lift off the embargo on Kurdish culture and language." An Agence France-Presse correspondent at the scene said that the Kurdish Yakiti party, which led the protest, called on the government to "remove barriers imposed on the Kurdish language and culture and recognize the existence of the Kurdish nationality within the unity of the country."

YEMEN
Parties to discuss U.S. killings of terror suspects
SAN'A Political parties here will convene a conference on terrorism next week that will focus on the country's security cooperation with the United States.
Party sources told United Press International that the parley, including opposition and government parties, is expected to focus on a U.S. missile attack last month against persons suspected of being al Qaeda leaders in the northern desert.
One party leader said the meeting comes amid "unprecedented differences" about the Nov. 3 attack by an unmanned U.S. Predator drone on a car carrying Abu Ali al-Harithi, suspected of being the leader of al Qaeda in Yemen, and five others, killing all six.

NETHERLANDS
Court rejects Turkey extradition bid
AMSTERDAM A Dutch court yesterday rejected a request by Turkey to extradite a leading member of the militant Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), ANP news agency reports.
Turkey requested Nuriye Kesbir's extradition in January, saying that she is suspected of being a PKK member and that she is connected with numerous attacks. An Amsterdam judge ruled yesterday that there were no legal grounds for the extradition because membership in the PKK is not forbidden in the Netherlands.
The Turkish authorities said Miss Kesbir, 41, was responsible for at least 25 attacks on military targets in the eastern provinces of Turkey between 1993 and 1995.

Weekly notes
An Israeli minister's proposal for a Palestinian state in Egypt's Sinai desert is "ridiculous," Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher said in remarks published in Cairo yesterday. Infrastructure Minister Effi Eitam, leader of Israel's National Religious Party, recently proposed creating a Palestinian state in the Sinai Peninsula, which Israel seized in 1967 and returned to Egypt in 1979. The United States asked Hungary yesterday for the use of its Taszar military air base to train Iraqi foes of the Baghdad regime for noncombatant duties in the event of U.S.-led military action against Iraq. Hungarian news outlets reported that Washington wants to use the base to train up to 4,000 Iraqis, who would act as interpreters and administrative support for invading troops.

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