- The Washington Times - Monday, May 13, 2002

Annan to tackle Cyprus reunification
NICOSIA, Cyprus U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan takes on the daunting task this week of trying to salvage flagging Cyprus reunification talks and beat the countdown to a European Union decision on enlargement.
With a June deadline for talks looming and no tangible sign of progress, Mr. Annan will need to add some impetus to negotiations when he visits the divided east Mediterranean island tomorrow through Thursday.
After four months of negotiations that started with high hopes, Greek Cypriot leader Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash produced little suggesting an imminent end to the decades-old conflict a source of friction between Turkey and Greece.

Bangladesh, India work for conservation
DHAKA, Bangladesh Bangladesh and India will work together under a U.N. plan to protect the ecosystem and biodiversity of Sundarban, the world's biggest mangrove forest and shared by the two countries, environmental officials said.
"Bangladesh and India currently use different approaches to protect the same ecosystem, but we are trying to unite it under one project," Professor Ansarul Karim, chairman of Bangladesh's Environmental Conservation Management Center, said during a seminar in Dhaka. He is also his country's coordinator for the Sundarban Biodiversity Management Project.
The U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization declared the Sundarban a world heritage site in 1997 and the U.N. Development Program has funded projects to save it from degradation.

Treaty to toughen nuclear security
VIENNA, Austria The world's nations, spurred by fears of new terrorist attacks, are expected by year's end to put the final touches on a toughened treaty obliging governments to better protect nuclear material from bomb-making terrorists, the head of the U.N. nuclear agency said.
Mohamed ElBaradei also said he hopes for an agreement with Washington and Moscow to give his International Atomic Energy Agency responsibility for verifying reductions in U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals. Such reductions historically have been verified by the two nuclear powers alone.

Rebels, Kabbah backers clash before vote
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone Lurking behind the celebration of peace at Sierra Leone's elections tomorrow will be the profound tensions that have spun the West African country into more than a decade of killing and chaos.
For Sierra Leoneans, the ballot is a chance for a new start for their mutilated country. For the United Nations, it is an urgently needed peacekeeping success.
The country's continuing fragility was laid bare over the weekend when former rebels clashed in Freetown with supporters of President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah's ruling party, prompting U.N. peacekeepers to fire warning shots.

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