Putin pays tribute to Polish fighters
WARSAW Russian President Vladimir Putin paid a surprise visit to a monument for Polish World War II resistance fighters yesterday, honoring soldiers who were persecuted and discredited by the Soviets.
Mr. Putin’s visit to the Home Army monument underlined that he is serious about improving Polish-Russian ties left in tatters after the end of communist rule in 1989.
“It is a significant gesture,” said Marek Borowski, speaker of Poland’s parliament, who accompanied Mr. Putin.
Mr. Putin, the first Russian president to visit Warsaw in eight years, didn’t comment as he laid a bouquet of pink carnations at the monument, erected near the Polish parliament in 1999.
Bereaved Americans visit Afghan family
KABUL, Afghanistan Coming together in common grief yesterday, a group of Americans who lost relatives in the September 11 terror attacks visited three Afghans whose mother was killed in an errant U.S. airstrike.
The four Americans said they hoped to draw attention to those who suffered from the U.S. bombing campaign in Afghanistan.
The group met with Mohammed Rahaf, 26; his brother, Aziz Ullah, 13; and sister, Sabera, 9, whose home in the Qala-e-Zaman Khan district of Kabul was destroyed by a U.S. bomb.
Killed along with their mother were their grandmother, a brother, a sister and a brother-in-law.
Gunmen kill Arab in West Bank
JERUSALEM A Palestinian man taking medical supplies to an Arab town was found dead in his car yesterday in the West Bank, apparently killed by gunmen who mistook him for an Israeli Jew. It was the third shooting death in two days on the West Bank.
Despite the violence, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat said that he still believed peace was possible and that his forces detained the leader of a Palestinian faction in the hopes he will reveal who assassinated an Israeli Cabinet minister.
Russian parliament hits U.S. pullout from treaty
MOSCOW The lower house of Russia’s parliament yesterday condemned the U.S. withdrawal from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and urged President Vladimir Putin to consult lawmakers on Moscow’s response.
The State Duma voted 326-3 for a nonbinding resolution assailing last month’s decision by President Bush to withdraw from the ABM treaty in six months to deploy a national missile defense.
The U.S. move was “mistaken and destabilizing since it effectively ruins the existing highly efficient system of ensuring strategic stability and paves ground for a new round of the arms race,” the resolution said.
The vote came as a Russian military delegation was holding talks in Washington with Pentagon officials on cooperation in fighting terrorism, a new military relationship and arms cuts to pave the way for Mr. Bush’s trip to Russia in late May or early June.