- The Washington Times - Friday, June 6, 2003

Ex-ambassador to head Arab diplomacy group

Former Ambassador Edward P. Djerejian, one-time assistant secretary of state and ex-ambassador to Israel and Syria, will head a new group designed to put the best face on U.S. policy in the Arab world.

The group of 10 to 12 will be part of the Bush administration’s expanding public diplomacy program in which scores of Foreign Service officers are assigned to promote U.S. foreign policy abroad.

Mr. Djerejian left the U.S. Foreign Service to direct a public policy institute established by former Secretary of State James A. Baker III at Rice University in Houston.


Iraqi man detained in toxic letters case

BRUSSELS — Belgian prosecutors said yesterday they have detained an Iraqi man after a series of letters containing a nerve gas ingredient were sent to the prime minister’s office and the U.S. and British embassies.

The man, 45, was arrested late Wednesday in the western Belgian town of Deinze, the federal prosecutor’s office said.

Two postal workers were hospitalized after being exposed to the chemicals. The 10 letters also were sent to a court trying al Qaeda suspects in Brussels, the Saudi Arabian Embassy, three ministries, an airport and a port authority.


U.S. officials hint Suu Kyi was ambushed

BANGKOK — U.S. Embassy diplomats who visited the site of clashes in Burma between pro-government crowds and followers of a democracy leader saw bloody clothes and homemade weapons, suggesting far more people may have been killed than the four reported by the military junta, an embassy official said yesterday.

The official said evidence also indicated the fighting in northern Burma, which broke out around democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s motorcade last Friday, was orchestrated by the government.

The junta detained Mrs. Suu Kyi after the clash and has not disclosed her whereabouts. The regime is under pressure to produce her by today, when United Nations special envoy Razali Ismail is planning to visit.


German tourist killed, wife hurt in Aceh

LHOKSEUMAWE — Indonesian troops fatally shot a German tourist and wounded his wife in Aceh province, where the government is battling a separatist insurgency.

The 54-year-old man and his wife, 49, were shot Wednesday night while in the coastal village of Lhok Gayo as troops investigated “suspicious flashlights” near a house, a military spokesman said.

The government is waging a military offensive against the Free Aceh Movement in the province, which has left more than 100 dead.


Pope John Paul II begins 100th trip abroad

OMISALJ — Pope John Paul II, beginning the 100th foreign trip of his papacy yesterday, urged Croatia’s leaders to heal wounds inflicted by war and communist rule.

Church bells rang out across the former Yugoslav republic, a bastion of Roman Catholicism in the Balkans, as the pontiff’s plane landed in bright sunshine on the Adriatic island of Krk.

The trip will be a test of the 83-year-old pope’s stamina. He has Parkinson’s disease and arthritis. Yesterday a Vatican official hinted he might cancel an August trip to Mongolia.


Disgraced politician dies in parachute jump

BERLIN — One of Germany’s most controversial politicians, former Deputy Chancellor Juergen Moellemann, fell to his death yesterday in a parachute jump that police are investigating as a potential suicide.

His death came within hours of a search of his home in Muenster by prosecutors probing charges he violated party funding rules. Also, the German parliament lifted his immunity from prosecution.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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