- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 18, 2003

SYRIA

Assad, Iranian guest discuss Iraq situation

DAMASCUS — Syrian President Bashar Assad held talks here yesterday with Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammed Sadr on several issues, including the situation in Iraq, which shares borders with both countries.

The two discussed “the situation in Iraq and questions of common interest,” an Iranian official said. Mr. Sadr, who arrived in Damascus on Monday evening for a two-day visit, also passed on a message from Iranian President Mohammed Khatami.

The talks between the two countries come as Washington intensifies diplomatic pressure in the aftermath of the Iraq war on both Damascus and Tehran, which it accuses of supporting terrorism and seeking weapons of mass destruction.

TURKEY

Kurdish broadcasts given green light

ANKARA — Broadcasting watchdog RTUK gave its approval yesterday for radio and television stations to air programs in the Kurdish language, a key reform required by the European Union, which Ankara is seeking to join.

RTUK President Fatih Karaca was quoted by Anatolia news agency as saying his agency had drawn up a regulation — likely to take force this week — outlining rules governing broadcasts in languages other than Turkish.

The regulation, applicable to private and state outlets, limits non-Turkish TV broadcasts to four hours a week and requires the use of Turkish subtitles, he said. Radio stations may air such programs for five hours a week but must run the same program in Turkish immediately afterward, Mr. Karaca added.

The regulation allows only nationwide media organizations to air programs in languages other than Turkish, he said. Local radio and TV stations are permitted to broadcast in other languages after audience surveys and the languages they use, he added.

KUWAIT

9 teenagers held in Filipina’s gang rape

KUWAIT CITY — Police have arrested nine Kuwaiti teens for abducting and gang raping a Filipina servant at a desert camp, a newspaper reported yesterday.

Arab Times quoted a police source as saying four of the men kidnapped the woman, took her to the camp and repeatedly raped her. They later invited five of their friends, who also were reported to have raped the woman.

The source said the suspects confessed after the woman identified them.

Weekly notes

Jordan’s King Abdullah II flew into Moscow yesterday for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on ways of reactivating peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. King Abdullah will meet Mr. Putin today in the Kremlin for talks on the U.S.-backed “road map” to peace.

From wire dispatches and staff reports


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