- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 4, 2003

POLAND

Poles apologize over Iraq missiles

WARSAW, Poland — After a protest from French President Jacques Chirac, Poland said yesterday it had been mistaken in reporting that its troops found new French-made anti-aircraft missiles in central Iraq.

Mr. Chirac swiftly denied selling Iraq weapons in violation of the U.N. weapons embargo against Saddam Hussein’s regime. The claims, he said, “are as false today as they were yesterday.”

An aide to the Polish prime minister said an initial report that the Roland missiles found by Polish troops days ago were produced in 2003 was incorrect. France said it stopped producing any type of Roland missile in 1993.

ITALY

Riot police clash with anti-globalizers

ROME — Riot police clashed with anti-globalization protesters during a demonstration against an EU summit in Rome yesterday, leaving several demonstrators injured, witnesses said.

Scores of police used batons and tear gas to push back several hundred protesters after coming under attack with bottles and stones, witnesses said.

An ambulance took at least one demonstrator away with a deep gash to his head and blood pouring down his face. A few protesters were detained by police.

TURKEY

Election board rejects challenge to 2002 poll

ANKARA — Turkey’s election board yesterday rejected a motion to cancel last year’s general election results in a decision that rules out the prospect of early polls in the debt-ridden country.

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), which became Turkey’s first single-party government in 15 years after a stunning election victory, had threatened to call early polls if the board had invalidated the results.

New elections and the ensuing risk of political instability could have wreaked havoc in Turkey, an EU candidate struggling to recover from a 2001 financial crisis that sparked the country’s worst recession since World War II.

IRELAND

Ahern confident of N. Ireland peace

BELFAST — Ireland’s Prime Minister Bertie Ahern said yesterday he believed there would be a breakthrough in negotiations aimed at persuading the Irish Republican Army to renounce violence.

Britain and Ireland are trying to broker a deal in Northern Ireland between Protestant unionists and Catholic republicans, which would allow delayed elections to go ahead and so revive the stalled peace process.

In an interview with the Dublin-based Irish Times, Mr. Ahern said a deal required a commitment from the IRA to end all guerrilla activity and a pledge from pro-British unionists to work with the armed group’s political ally Sinn Fein.


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