- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 9, 2003


Pact to be signed on Iran water line

KUWAIT CITY — Kuwait and neighbor Iran are to sign an agreement on Saturday to supply the desert kingdom with fresh water through a pipeline, Kuwait’s energy minister, Sheik Ahmed Fahd al-Sabah, said yesterday.

The two countries signed a memorandum of understanding on the matter in January during a visit by then-Foreign Minister Sheik Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, who is now the prime minister.

Under the agreement, Kuwait will get 200 million imperial gallons (240 million U.S. gallons) of water daily, Sheik Ahmed said, without providing the financial details. Earlier reports had said that the project involves building a pipeline from the Karun and Karkheh rivers in southwestern Iran to Kuwait at a cost of $2 billion.

Sheik Ahmed said this was among the most “highly important, strategic” projects for Kuwait.


U.S. seeks to continue sorties from Incirlik

ANKARA — The United States wants to continue using an air base in southern Turkey that it had used to enforce a no-fly zone over northern Iraq before the war, a senior U.S. official said here yesterday.

“Over the years, we have had arrangements with Turkey for the use of the [Incirlik] base. And what we would like to see is those arrangements continue,” Marc Grossman, undersecretary of state for political affairs, told reporters after talks with Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul.

The Incirlik air base, which is close to the Syrian and Iraqi borders, is still being used for logistical purposes. Mr. Grossman’s visit to Turkey, a NATO member and a key Muslim ally of the United States, was part of a tour of several European nations to discuss Washington’s plans to realign its troops in Europe.

Secretary of State Colin L. Powell said during a visit to NATO last week that the Bush administration is set to restructure U.S. forces in Europe to improve its ability to tackle global terrorism.


Textbook equality irritates some males

BURAIDAH — A new English program for use by Saudi boys and girls in the first year of intermediate school is spurring some criticism. The Arab News said yesterday that the new text and workbook — written by Saudi female teachers — is making some male teachers unhappy.

One male English teacher identified only as Al-Zaid told Arab News: “Female teachers have no experience whatsoever in boys’ education. It is completely different from that of girls.”

Other male teachers, however, do not object to school texts written by women, Arab News reported. Abdul Kareem Saji Al-Tuwaijri, an English teacher in Qassim, said, “Gender is not a problem here. Quality is what matters.”

The new course, “Say It In English,” consists of 20 units, with each unit divided into four 45-minute lessons.

Weekly notes

Iraq’s interim Governing Council decided unanimously yesterday to expel the more than 5,000 members of the People’s Mujahideen this month, branding the armed Iranian opposition force “a terrorist organization.” The group’s offices are to be closed and its weapons and money confiscated. … Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom is to meet Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Geneva today to discuss efforts to revive peace talks with the Palestinians, Israeli officials said yesterday. An Israeli Foreign Ministry statement said the talks in Geneva “signify a warming of relations between Israel and Egypt.”

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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