- The Washington Times - Monday, November 22, 2004

HAITI

Latortue vows to yield to elections

PARIS — Interim Haitian Prime Minister Gerard Latortue voiced confidence yesterday that his strife-torn country is able to handle democracy.

“We are living moments of democracy like a country that has rarely known them,” Mr. Latortue told a press conference in Paris.

“My government has no political ambitions,” he said, insisting that his transition government would yield power after elections next year.

Mr. Latortue returned to Haiti from exile to lead the transitional government after President Jean-Bertrand Aristide resigned under pressure and was whisked by U.S. authorities to exile in South Africa in February.

CHILE

Tokyo, Santiago mull free-trade pact

SANTIAGO — Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and Chilean President Ricardo Lagos agreed yesterday to form a joint panel to study the creation of a bilateral free-trade agreement.

The two leaders reached the accord during Mr. Koizumi’s official visit here and the third summit talks between the two leaders. The bilateral talks occurred after a two-day annual summit of the 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum Saturday and Sunday.

BRAZIL

Russia to help with space projects

BRASILIA — Brazil and Russia signed an agreement on space cooperation here yesterday that calls for developing a booster vehicle for Brazil, production of geostationary satellites and other projects.

The accord signed by Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Russian President Vladimir Putin evokes “development of a modernized version” of Brazil’s rocket known as the VLS-1 as well as improving the infrastructure at Brazil’s Alcantara launch facility.

Weekly notes

Peru should ask the International Court of Justice to rule on its request for the extradition of former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori from Japan, state prosecutor Nelly Calderon said Sunday, voicing frustration at Tokyo’s failure to act. She said Japan apparently seeks to delay action so the statute of limitations would prevent Mr. Fujimori, born in Peru of Japanese immigrant parents and Peru’s president from 1990 to 2000, from facing trial on murder charges. … Nearly 300 of Colombia’s right-wing paramilitaries have demobilized as part of a government-initiated disarmament plan, El Tiempo reported yesterday. Ongoing talks between President Alvaro Uribe and the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia reached an unexpected agreement last month on decommissioning 3,000 of the latter’s 20,000 troops by the end of the year.

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