- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 2, 2002

Iran and Egypt inchtoward normal ties

TEHRAN Iran has yet to decide whether to change the name of a Tehran street honoring the man who assassinated Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in 1981, despite signs both countries want to restore diplomatic ties.

An official on the Tehran City Council said a decision to rename Khaled Eslamboli Avenue had been made, but that the Foreign Ministry has the final say. An official there said the ministry has yet to rule on the matter: "If a decision is made, it is going to be announced," the official told Agence France-Presse.

In comments published Sunday, Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher said his country would hold talks with Iran aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations broken off after the 1979 Islamic revolution. The street name is one of the obstacles to restoring full diplomatic relations.

Iraq war seen hurting Jordan's markets most

CAIRO A war on Iraq would affect most Arab stock markets, with Jordan suffering the most, said an Arab financial study received here yesterday.

"Although an attack on Iraq could have negative security implications on countries such as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, it is Jordan that shares the strongest economic ties with" Iraq "and hence has the most to lose," the Dubai-based Shuaa Capital investment bank said in a report.

"Jordanian companies have been benefiting from a highly prosperous relationship with Iraq, reflected by strong growth in such industries as pharmaceuticals, tobacco and steel.

"Iraq at its end has been supplying Jordan with crude oil at highly preferential rates, which has been a godsend to the local industries. The threatened action against Iraq puts all that into jeopardy," it added.

Yemeni speaker's sons involved in shootout

SAN'A, Yemen Two sons of the parliament speaker have been arrested after a shootout left four persons dead near the British Embassy, the official SABA news agency said yesterday.

Four other sons of speaker Sheik Abdullah Ahmar, also involved in the gunbattle, were to be questioned by the public prosecutor in San'a yesterday. At least 30 bullets hit the walls of the embassy during the firefight between security forces and armed members of the Hashed tribal confederation, which the speaker heads. One of the speaker's sons and eight other persons were wounded, two of them seriously, including a police officer.

Weekly notes

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak arrived in Libya yesterday for talks on a possible U.S. attack on Iraq and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Libyan state news agency Jana reported. Jana said Mr. Mubarak and Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi were meeting in Syrte, Col. Gadhafi's hometown in eastern Libya. Saudi Arabia's interior minister was quoted yesterday as saying he did not believe that anti-Western Muslims were behind a car explosion that killed a German man Sunday or previous bombings in the kingdom. "I am sure [that] most probably there are no Saudis, Muslims or Arabs involved," Prince Nayef told al-Riyadh daily.

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