- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 29, 2003

PAKISTAN
Rival makes offer for talks with India
ISLAMABAD Pakistan made a major peace overture to nuclear rival India yesterday, proposing reciprocal visits between their leaders in an effort to ease decades-long tensions over the disputed Kashmir region.
Pakistani Prime Minister Zafarullah Khan Jamali called Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and said Pakistani officials are willing to hold high-level contacts "in the cause of peace," according to Pakistan Television. The call was the first direct discussion since the nuclear rivals nearly went to war last year.

IRAN
U.S. accuses Tehran of secret nuke program
GENEVA A senior U.S. official yesterday accused Iran already under pressure from Washington over Iraq of violating a key global pact to stop the spread of nuclear weapons.
John Wolf, assistant secretary of state for nonproliferation issues, said that Iran had an "alarming, clandestine program" to get hold of nuclear technology as part of an illegal weapons effort.
"Iran is going down the same path of denial and deception that handicapped international inspections in North Korea and Iraq," Mr. Wolf said, addressing a gathering to prepare for a 2005 conference on updating the international nonproliferation treaty.

IVORY COAST
Rebel leader killed near Liberian border
ABIDJAN, The hard-line leader of one of Ivory Coast's three rebel factions was killed during a flare-up in fighting between rebels and their former battlefront allies from West African wars.
A rebel statement yesterday said Sgt. Felix Doh, leader of the Ivorian Popular Movement of the Far West, was ambushed near the Liberian border Friday and was "captured and executed" by men loyal to notorious regional warlord Sam Bockarie.
There was no suggestion that Sgt. Doh's killers were linked to President Laurent Gbagbo's forces, and both sides said his death will not undermine peace talks .

TAJIKISTAN
Former Soviet republics plan joint armed force
PUGUS Russia and five former Soviet republics have set up a joint military command to oversee a rapid reaction force amid increased security risks in Central Asia, their leaders said yesterday.
The announcement was made after a summit here by the leaders of Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, which make up the new Collective Security Treaty Organization.

GERMANY
Schroeder hints he'll quit if reform plan goes down
BERLIN German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder made a veiled threat to resign yesterday, warning leftist dissidents that they will paralyze his government if they do not back reforms designed to revive the stalled German economy.
Mr. Schroeder was trying to control rebels in his Social Democratic Party who say his "Agenda 2010" reform plan, which pares job benefits and makes it easier to fire workers, will betray the principles of a party founded 140 years ago to protect labor rights.

UNITED KINGDOM
Stolen art recovered in Manchester loo
MANCHESTER Paintings by Van Gogh, Picasso and Gauguin, stolen over the weekend from a Manchester museum, were recovered yesterday in a disused public toilet, police and museum officials said.
An anonymous telephone tip-off led police to the three works stuffed into a tube at the toilet not far from the Whitworth Art Gallery, from where they had been stolen overnight Saturday, a police spokesman said.

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