- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 23, 2002

Nepal's king dissolves parliament, calls vote
KATMANDU, Nepal Nepal's King Gyanendra dissolved the country's lower house of parliament yesterday on the advice of the prime minister and called elections for Nov. 13, a senior government minister said.
The move came a day ahead of a crucial debate in parliament to extend emergency rule by six months to crush a bloody Maoist rebellion that has claimed more than 4,000 lives in six years.
Some members of Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba's ruling Nepali Congress party, including former Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, party president, had opposed the extension of the state of emergency, creating a crisis for his government.
Emergency rule was imposed after the Maoists walked out of peace talks in November, broke a truce and carried out a series of raids on security forces.

Ayatollah hits plan for talks with U.S.
TEHRAN Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, lashed out yesterday at a reformists' bid for dialogue with the United States a day after reformist parliamentarians held talks on ways to approach Washington.
"Those who talk about negotiations with America do not understand the first things about diplomacy or national pride," Ayatollah Khamenei said at a public meeting.
"Dialogue or relations with a country that is openly out to topple our Islamic system, and allocates a budget to do so, amounts to stupidity and treason," he said.
Reformists close to President Mohammed Khatami have pressed for dialogue to ward off U.S. hostility and resolve more than two decades of bad blood since the 1979 Islamic revolution.
Leading reformers in Iran's parliament held a closed-door session Tuesday with a group of politicians and foreign-policy experts from across the political divide to discuss ways of easing tensions between the arch foes.

Asylum-seekers arrive in South Korea
SEOUL Five North Korean asylum-seekers whose detention inside a Japanese consulate in China set off a diplomatic dispute between Tokyo and Beijing reached South Korea early today.
The five a family of two men, two women and a young girl landed at Inchon International Airport, west of Seoul, aboard a Korean Air flight from the Philippine capital, Manila.
The North Koreans tried to barge into the Japanese Consulate in the northeastern Chinese city of Shenyang on May 8, but were dragged out of the consulate grounds by Chinese guards.
Tokyo accused Chinese guards of breaking international law by going into its consulate without permission to grab the five asylum-seekers. Beijing insisted that Japanese officials gave permission for the detentions.

Kyrgyz government quits over police firing
BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan Kyrgyzstan's government resigned yesterday after a special state commission ruled that senior officials were to blame for civilian deaths when police opened fire on demonstrators in March.
But anti-government activists said the crisis would not be over until all guilty officials were brought to justice and opposition deputy Azimbek Beknazarov, whose arrest triggered the protests, was cleared of his criminal charges.
President Askar Akayev said at an emergency meeting of his Security Council that he had accepted Prime Minister Kurmanbek Bakiyev's resignation.

Report: Al Qaeda men smuggled into Europe
BERLIN Taliban and al Qaeda guerrillas have been smuggled into Europe in the last few months and are on their way to Britain, a German newspaper reported yesterday, citing a letter from Interpol to the German police.
"A warning letter based on information gathered two months ago by Interpol and Europol, says that more than 30 'important people from the Taliban and Al Qaeda' are in Bulgaria, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Austria on the way to Britain, where they want to regroup and plan possible action," wrote German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
The newspaper said Interpol and Europol, the European Union's police agency, had given German federal and state security services the names of 31 suspected extremists.

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