- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 23, 2003

SAUDI ARABIA

Dissident arrested, opposition figure says

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — A Saudi dissident was arrested yesterday after a nightlong siege of his Riyadh home, where he was planning what would have been the kingdom’s first public meeting of independent reformists, an exiled opposition figure said.

The Saudi government has traditionally resisted allowing open debate of the way the country is run, or criticism of the ruling family. But Saudis are demanding more freedom of expression and participation in the country’s affairs.



The standoff with police outside the home of Abdel Aziz al-Tayyar began at about midnight Monday, according to Saad al-Fagih, the exiled director of the London-based Movement for Islamic Reform in Arabia.

Police repeatedly asked Mr. al-Tayyar to surrender, but he refused. They finally raided the house, arrested Mr. al-Tayyar and confiscated documents, Mr. al-Fagih told the Associated Press.

ISRAEL

Population rises in Jewish settlements

JERUSALEM — Jewish settlement population in the West Bank and Gaza Strip grew by 5.7 percent last year, government figures showed yesterday, despite U.S. pressure to halt building on land where Palestinians seek their own state.

The number of settlers living on occupied land increased to 220,100 in 2002 from 208,200 at the end of 2001, even as violence raged in a Palestinian uprising for independence that began in September 2000 when peace talks failed.

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

Israeli makes landmark speech

DUBAI — United Arab Emirates delegates moved back a couple of rows and other Arabs stayed away yesterday when Israel’s central bank governor made an appearance here to address a conference on international finance.

Bank governor David Klein’s speech on the opening day of an International Monetary Fund and World Bank meeting was the first ever by an Israeli official in the United Arab Emirates. The country does not recognize Israel.

Weekly Notes …

Egyptian authorities have decided to naturalize children who have Egyptian mothers but foreign fathers. A government official said the National Women’s Council headed by President Hosni Mubarak’s wife, Suzanne, helped draft a law to this effect, which would be approved by Parliament in November. … The organizers of the World Bank-IMF conference in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, have set aside an air-conditioned tent for any antiglobalization demonstrations typical at such international meetings, but so far a lone British woman has staged the only visible protest. Corinne Maxwell-Reid, who was wearing a placard saying “Stop the IMF,” left after a few minutes, her only audience being a few policemen and passing motorists.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide