- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 15, 2005

INDONESIA

Aceh rebels begin surrender of weapons

BANDA ACEH — Separatist rebels in Indonesia’s Aceh province started handing over weapons to international monitors yesterday, a crucial element in a peace deal that has brought hope to the tsunami-ravaged region.

Questions quickly emerged, however, about the quality of the arms surrendered.

The accord signed last month in Finland is seen as Aceh’s best chance in years to end three decades of fighting that has claimed 15,000 lives, but almost everything depends on the delicate phase of disarmament and demobilization.

BRITAIN

7 Algerians face deportation

LONDON — British police seized seven Algerians as national security threats yesterday, hours before the government announced plans to hold terrorism suspects without charge for up to three months, instead of the current 14 days.

Britain said it would deport the men, who were accused but not convicted of involvement in a 2002 plot to manufacture the deadly poison ricin.

The arrests were the latest after the four July 7 suicide bombings in London that killed 56 persons, including the attackers.

ISRAEL

Foreign minister meets with Qatari

NEW YORK — The foreign ministers of Israel and Qatar met on the sidelines of the United Nations summit yesterday, a sign of further movement toward improving relations between the Jewish state and the Arab world in the wake of Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.

The talks — a first step in efforts to arrange an Israeli-Qatari summit — came a day after Qatar’s foreign minister, Sheik Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor Al-Thani, urged Arab nations to open up to the Jewish state.

In line with the trend, Sheik Hamad said it was possible for Qatar to establish full diplomatic relations with Israel before the formation of an independent Palestine.

SAUDI ARABIA

Women to contest in trade chamber election

RIYADH — Saudi businesswomen will be able to stand for election to a local trade and industry chamber in the first vote of its kind for women in the conservative Muslim monarchy, a top executive said yesterday.

Saudi authorities allowed businesswomen to take part in a November election of 18 board members of the Red Sea city of Jidda’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said its chairman, Ghassan al-Suleiman.

Women account for less than 10 percent of the chamber’s 40,000 members.

NORWAY

New leader wants to pull out of Iraq

OSLO — Norwegian Labor Party leader Jens Stoltenberg, who is set to be premier after winning an election this week, told President Bush yesterday that Norway would pull its soldiers out of Iraq, a spokesman said.

NATO ally Norway has about 20 soldiers in Iraq in staff officer positions within the British and Polish contingents and in NATO training for Iraqi forces.

Norway did not support the U.S.-led war in Iraq, saying there was no clear United Nations mandate for an invasion, but sent soldiers after Washington said the war had ended.

Mr. Bush had called Mr. Stoltenberg to congratulate him on his Red-Green alliance’s victory in the parliamentary elections on Monday.

RUSSIA

Baby delivered on U.S.-bound flight

MOSCOW — A Russian woman traveling on an Aeroflot flight from Moscow to Los Angeles gave birth on the plane, the carrier said yesterday.

Lyudmila Yalinus delivered her son with the help of several flight attendants after two doctors on board refused to help for unspecified reasons, an Aeroflot spokesman said.

The delivery went well, and Mrs. Yalinus was able to leave the plane on her own carrying the baby and was greeted by the infant’s father.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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