- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Israel shares data
Israel is sharing data with the United States in its efforts to prevent attacks on airliners from terrorists with shoulder-fired missiles, Israeli Ambassador Daniel Ayalon told Congress.
Mr. Ayalon, in closed testimony last week before the House Transportation subcommittee on aviation, said Israel and the United States opened a "cooperative dialogue" over the last few months to explain what Israeli has done to combat surface-to-air missile attacks.
"The Israeli defense establishment, together with Israeli companies, is coordinating efforts to create and manufacture an effective system of defense for our civilian airplanes," he said in remarks released by the Israeli Embassy.
Mr. Ayalon said Israeli officials have met with officials at the White House, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Transportation Safety Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.
The ambassador noted that an Israeli airliner narrowly averted an attack in November when a terrorist fired a surface-to-air missile at the plane shortly after takeoff from Mombasa, Kenya.
"We cannot allow ourselves to be vulnerable against another attack of this sort," he said.
Mr. Ayalon said the shoulder-fired missiles present a new threat to civilian aviation.
"No longer is the terror that Israel faces merely a regional issue. We stand at the front lines facing a global danger," he said.
"Terrorists do not cease in their attempts to develop new tactics of murder and destruction. We, the free and democratic nations of the world, cannot allow them to succeed."
Turkey backs coalition
Turkey has no hidden agenda in its desire to move troops into Kurdish areas of northern Iraq, says Turkish Ambassador Farruk Logoglu.
He says Turkey only wants to prevent terrorism and address a humanitarian crisis in that border area as a member of the U.S.-led coalition to liberate Iraq.
Mr. Logoglu, speaking Sunday on CNN's "Larry King Live," disputed news reports that said Turkey wants to occupy Kurdish areas in northern Iraq to prevent the creation of a separate Kurdish state that could create unrest in Kurdish areas of Turkey.
"We have been hearing a lot about this in the American media," he said. "Turkey is a member of the coalition. Turkey is working very closely with the United States … and we do not have any hostile purposes or hidden agenda with regard to Iraq."
Mr. Logoglu appeared with Ambassadors Karim Kawar of Jordan, Nabil Fahmy of Egypt and Salem al-Sabah of Kuwait, whose country was brutally occupied by Iraq in 1990 and 1991.
Mr. Sabah said Kuwaitis are a bit anxious, but "all in all, life has gone on as normal."
Iraq has fired five missiles at Kuwait since the recent U.S. invasion, three of which were intercepted and two of which fell in unpopulated areas.
"We are ready for the worst, and we are going to remain vigilant on the issue," Mr. Sabah said.
"There is a lot of tension in Jordan. … We are fearing there will be a flood of refugees coming to our borders. Having to care for them is a big responsibility, beyond what we can do," he said.
Mr. Fahmy said the mood of Egyptians is "very anxious, very difficult."
He called Egypt a "pioneer of peace" in the region, a reference to the first peace treaty with Israel in 1979.
"Our people have lived through at least four Arab-Israeli wars and two wars where Iraq was fighting Iran and invaded Kuwait," he said. "We would like to look onto a period which does not involve war."
Pakistan cancels visit
Pakistani Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali has postponed a visit to Washington this week because of domestic opposition to the war in Iraq.
Mr. Jamali would have come under fierce criticism at home if he became the only Muslim leader to meet with President Bush while the United States is invading another Muslim nation, a source told Embassy Row yesterday.
The Pakistani Embassy gave no reason for the decision but said Pakistan plans to reschedule the visit.
Mr. Jamali was to have arrived tomorrow. In addition to Mr. Bush, his schedule called for meetings with Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

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