- The Washington Times - Friday, February 6, 2004

CYPRUS

Turkish leader coming for talks

ANKARA, Turkey — Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash will fly to New York for U.N.-sponsored talks on the reunification of Cyprus, but he will also carry a letter stating his side’s reservations, Turkish reports said yesterday.

Earlier in the day, Mr. Denktash said U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s invitation to resume reunification talks next week was a one-sided “imposition.”

Mr. Annan wants to bring Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders together Tuesday for talks about ending the 30-year-old division of Cyprus, with the aim of putting a peace deal to a referendum in April so a reunited Cyprus can join the European Union on May 1.

VIETNAM

Pigs test positive for bird flu virus

ROME — Preliminary tests have indicated that pigs in Vietnam might be infected with the bird flu virus, U.N. officials said yesterday.

The findings are not conclusive, but experts say if the results are confirmed by more rigorous testing, the level of concern over the outbreak of the H5N1 virus sweeping Asia will certainly intensify, though it is too early to tell by how much.

Nasal swabs taken from pigs were positive for the virus, said Anton Rychener, Hanoi representative for the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.

LIBERIA

Powell pledges aid for reconstruction

NEW YORK — Secretary of State Colin L. Powell pledged $200 million yesterday to start rebuilding Liberia after 14 years of civil war, and urged others at the United Nations to help Liberians seize what may be “their last, best chance for peace.”

Calling the United States Liberia’s “best and oldest friend,” Mr. Powell told a high-level donors conference that Washington will support international efforts “to build a future of hope” for Liberians.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan opened the session with an appeal to international donors for nearly $500 million for Liberia’s reconstruction.

PAKISTAN

Opposition wants scandal probed

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan’s opposition parties yesterday demanded a parliamentary inquiry into a nuclear proliferation scandal in which the country’s top scientist has confessed he sold atomic secrets to Iran, Libya and North Korea.

The Pakistan Muslim League of exiled former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the Pakistan People’s Party of another former prime minister in exile, Benazir Bhutto, both called for a parliamentary debate into the affair.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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