- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 8, 2002

Mideast water war?
A U.S. diplomat yesterday met Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri to discuss the growing tension between Lebanon and Israel over a river project that Israel fears will threaten its water supply.
"I told the prime minister that we would like to arrive at a diplomatic solution, something we have been working on with the government of Lebanon and the government of Israel for several weeks," Carol Kalin, deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon, told reporters.
"We have been coordinating very closely with the United Nations."
U.N. troops are stationed on the Israeli-Lebanese border in an attempt to prevent an armed confrontation over Lebanese plans to divert water from the Wazzani River to 40 villages. The Wazzani flows into the Sea of Galilee, which provides Israel with its main source of water.
She said the United States is expecting a report from the Lebanese government "on the exact nature and scope of the project as well as future plans as soon as possible."
She also said the United States will bring more water experts to the region. Washington has already sent one water specialist to the area.
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has vowed to stop Lebanon from diverting Israel's water supply, while Lebanon has pledged to retaliate if Israel bombs the new pumping station on the river.
Israeli helicopters flew over the area yesterday, the Agence France-Presse news agency reported.

'War certainly not over'
The United States will stay in Afghanistan "until we win" the war against the al Qaeda terrorist network and the remnants of its Taliban supporters, the U.S. ambassador in Kabul said yesterday.
"There are ongoing attacks on al Qaeda and the Taliban. The war is certainly not over," Ambassador Robert Finn told the Reuters news agency. "Military operations are continuing, especially in the eastern part of the country and they will continue until we win."
Mr. Finn was speaking on the first anniversary of the opening of the war in Afghanistan. About 8,000 U.S. soldiers and 5,000 allied troops are fighting to restore order in a country torn by more than two decades of war and several years of brutal rule by the fanatical Taliban regime, which hosted Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda followers.
Afghan Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah told a news conference that the United States needs to stay in Afghanistan until "we all agree that the situation is stable enough and al Qaeda is not a threat to the stability of Afghanistan or elsewhere."

Kashmir diplomacy
Pakistan's new ambassador is asking the United States to "facilitate" a settlement in the disputed Kashmir region, a source of constant conflict between Pakistan and India.
"South Asia must have a peace process that addresses the Kashmir dispute in a fair manner, taking into account the wishes of the Kashmiri people," Ambassador Ashraf Jehangir Qazi told President Bush when he presented his diplomatic credentials.
He said the United States is in a "unique position to facilitate this process" because it has friendly ties with Pakistan and India. Each controls parts of the Himalayan region.
India has repeatedly accused Pakistan of encouraging Muslim rebels to attack India-controlled Kashmir, a mostly Muslim province in a mostly Hindu country. Pakistan has denied the charges and promised to patrol the area to prevent rebel incursions into India.
"People in Pakistan and in Kashmir look toward the United States. We are confident that their hopes and expectations will not belied," he said at the White House ceremony last week.
Mr. Qazi also promised his government will work with the United States to prevent an arms race between Pakistan and India, both nuclear nations.
Pakistan, a key U.S. ally in the war against terrorism, will continue to support the United States until "our shared objectives are fully met," the ambassador said.
Mr. Bush thanked Pakistan for providing "invaluable assistance in capturing some of the most important terrorist ringleaders and their followers."
"Your arrival in Washington comes at a critical time, as our countries stand shoulder-to-shoulder, working to eliminate international terrorism," he said.


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