- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 27, 2002

Russian official, Powell discuss arms-cut deal

MOSCOW Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov spoke by telephone to Secretary of State Colin L. Powell to discuss efforts to work out a new arms-control agreement, the Foreign Ministry said yesterday.
Their conversation "confirmed the mutual disposition to work out a legally binding agreement on radical and verifiable reductions of strategic offensive arms," the ministry said.
At a summit in Texas in November, President Bush pledged to slash U.S. nuclear arsenals to between 1,700 and 2,200, while Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that Russia could go as low as 1,500 warheads.
Russia has pushed for a formal written treaty on the cuts, something U.S. officials have indicated they are willing but not eager to do.

Castro's brother sees new climate in U.S. ties
HAVANA A new climate of cooperation reigns in U.S.-Cuba relations, proving that the two historical enemies are capable of getting along, Cuban Defense Minister Raul Castro said yesterday.
Speaking with a small group of journalists after a government rally outside Havana, Fidel Castro's younger brother characterized the recent wave of visits by U.S. lawmakers and business parties as "positive."
Nevertheless, he said, relations between the nations remain "unpredictable."

Sudan announces troop withdrawal
KHARTOUM, Sudan Government troops have withdrawn from some areas in the Nuba Mountains, in line with the terms of a recent cease-fire deal, and have been replaced by civilian administrators and policemen, a senior Sudanese official said yesterday.
Sudanese Foreign Undersecretary Mutref Siddeiq told reporters the military presence in those areas was "cut down in favor of the civilian one for restoration of life to normal in implementation of the cease-fire agreement."
The truce, aimed at allowing humanitarian supplies to reach the Nuba Mountains, was hammered out between Khartoum and the Sudan People's Liberation Army in talks held in Switzerland a week ago. It went into effect within 72 hours.

Saddam considers upgrading military
BAGHDAD Iraqi President Saddam Hussein discussed improvements in his country's military capabilities with top military aides yesterday, the Iraqi News Agency said.
The agency said Saddam met with Deputy Prime Minister Abdul Tawab Mullah Hwaish, who is also head of the Military Industrialization Commission, and a group of air force commanders.
Saddam listened to a briefing submitted by Mr. Hwaish on "consolidating defensive and fighting capabilities of our armed forces in order to enable them to repel any aggression against Iraq and defeat the aggressors," INA said.
Saddam's meeting comes amid warnings by the United States that time is running short for Iraq to allow the return of arms inspectors from the United Nations, who left in 1998 complaining they were being prevented from performing their duties.

Dalai Lama to be hospitalized
GAYA, India The Dalai Lama, who has been complaining of abdominal pain and exhaustion, will be flown to Bombay today for a medical checkup after doctors found a lump in his stomach, his spokesman said yesterday.
The decision was made after a team of doctors examined the Tibetan spiritual leader in a Buddhist monastery in Bodhgaya, where he had been staying since last week, said Masood Butt, his press coordinator.
On Thursday, the Dalai Lama postponed his teachings before tens of thousands of followers at a special service. He said he would not be able to finish the rituals, which require him to sit still for at least five hours.

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