- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 23, 2005

No Saudi torture

Saudi Ambassador Prince Turki al-Faisal denounced claims that a U.S. citizen accused of plotting to assassinate President Bush was tortured while in Saudi custody.

Ahmed Abu Ali, on trial in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, said last week that he confessed to planning to kill the president only after being beaten repeatedly by Saudi security officers in 2003.

Prince Turki said Friday, “The government of Saudi Arabia rejects assertions that while in custody Ahmed Abu Ali was tortured in any way.”

The ambassador said the prisoner was “visited on a regular basis” by U.S. officials in Saudi Arabia “who found no evidence of either physical or mental abuse.”

“Moreover, following the decision to extradite him to the U.S., in compliance with requests by the U.S. government, Mr. Abu Ali was examined by four physicians, including an American and a British doctor, who found no evidence of physical abuse.”

Ali was arrested while studying at a Saudi university.

TRNC responds

The Turkish-Cypriot government’s representative to the U.S. called the Cypriot ambassador “presumptuous” for claiming to speak for all citizens of the divided island.

“The Turkish-Cypriots, after having been forcibly evicted from their bicommunal government of Cyprus in 1963 by their Greek-Cypriot partners, have since ruled themselves as an act of self-defense and in exercise of their right to self-determination,” said Osman Ertug of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

He criticized Ambassador Euripides L. Evriviades over an article in the Mediterranean Quarterly in which the ambassador reviewed Turkey’s dilemma in its efforts to join the European Union. Turkey, the only nation to recognize the TRNC, maintains about 30,000 troops on northern Cyprus. The European Union has admitted the Greek-Cypriot government as the representative of the entire island. Embassy Row wrote about Mr. Evriviades’ article on Friday.

Diplomatic traffic

Foreign visitors in Washington this week include:

Today

• Judges Nicholas Pumphrey of London’s Royal Courts of Justice, Klaus Grabinski of the District Court of Dusseldorf, Germany, and Ryuichi Shitara of the Tokyo District Court. They speak at the Fourth International Judges Conference on Intellectual Property Law.

Tomorrow

• Mayor Dora Bakoyannis of Athens, who meets D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams and members of Congress, and addresses the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

• A delegation from Kazakhstan: Rakhat Aliev, first deputy minister of foreign affairs; Vladimir Foos, secretary of the Central Election Commission; Economy Minister Kairat Kelimbetov; Grigoriy Marchenko, counselor to the president and chairman of the Halyk Savings Bank; presidential adviser Karim Massimov; and Anvar Saidenov, chairman of the Central Bank. They address the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Wednesday

• Ali Ahmad Jalali, former interior minister of Afghanistan, who talks about the reconstruction of his country in a panel discussion at the U.S. Institute of Peace.

• Hussein Bor of the Baluchistan United Front and Morteza Esfandiari of the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan, who discuss political conditions in Iran in a forum sponsored by the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research.

• Lyudmila Alekseeva, chairwoman of the Moscow Helsinki Group, and Tanya Lokshina, chairwoman of the Demos Center for Information and Research in Moscow. They discuss the threat to human rights in Russia in a forum sponsored by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297, fax 202/832-7278 or e-mail jmorrison@washingtontimes.com.

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