- The Washington Times - Saturday, June 8, 2002

Pakistan foreign minister quits as war looms

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan Pakistan's foreign minister, Abdul Sattar, said yesterday that he has resigned for health reasons, just days before Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld is to arrive in South Asia to try to avert war between Pakistan and India.
Mr. Sattar's resignation comes at a crucial time for President Pervez Musharraf, who is under intense diplomatic pressure to ease tensions with India and clamp down on Islamic militants.
"My health does not permit me to fulfill the responsibilities," the English-language daily the Nation quoted him as saying.

NATO seeks alliance with ex-Soviet states
BRUSSELS NATO defense ministers extended their debate on counterterrorism yesterday to include their eastern neighbors, seeking greater cooperation with 27 mostly former Soviet bloc nations that joined a second day of talks.
The countries attending ranged from Slovenia, Latvia and Romania, which have long worked closely with NATO and are expected to receive an invitation to join the alliance in November, to Central Asian states such as Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. NATO is looking to step up its "partnership for peace" program with such nations to increase their role in a wider campaign against terrorism.

Argentina's Cavallo freed; charges dropped
BUENOS AIRES Argentina's disgraced former economy chief Domingo Cavallo was released from a two-month jail term yesterday, after a court threw out arms-smuggling charges against him, judicial sources said.
Mr. Cavallo was toppled from power along with President Fernando de la Rua late last year after his failed economic policies triggered bloody riots that left 27 dead.

Central Asia unites to battle terrorism
ST PETERSBURG Russia, China and four Central Asian states pledged yesterday to step up action against international terrorism as Uzbekistan voiced fears of fresh Islamic extremism in Afghanistan.
Leaders of the so-called Shanghai Six, which also includes the former Soviet states of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, signed a charter to turn their organization into a full-fledged international body.
Uzbek President Islam Karimov, whose country borders northern Afghanistan, said the potential dangers still lurking there should not be underestimated.

Vietnamese teacher executed for rape
HANOI A teacher convicted of raping six elementary school students has been executed by firing squad, a court official in Vietnam's central highlands said yesterday.
Nguyen Van Phu, 37, was sentenced to death in 1999 for raping six of his students, aged 8 and 9, during five days in 1997. He sexually molested another six students, the official said on the condition of anonymity.
Phu was executed May 22, the official said. Phu, a teacher in the mountainous Daklak province, 220 miles north of Ho Chi Minh City, was arrested after parents reported him to the police.

Poor health sidelines Turkish prime minister
ANKARA, Turkey Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit missed a second key meeting in as many weeks yesterday because of poor health, prompting new calls for his resignation.
There are growing concerns about political paralysis in the country as it struggles with a decision on accepting EU demands for reform in exchange for starting the process of accepting Turkey for membership.
In a sign of how serious Mr. Ecevit's health condition has become, Deputy Prime Minister Devlet Bahceli said he has been asked by Mr. Ecevit's top aide to lead the Cabinet meeting Monday in place of the prime minister.
Mr. Ecevit has suffered intestinal problems, a broken rib and a vein infection in the past month.


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