- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 27, 2005


‘Peace’ referendum faces vote tomorrow

ALGIERS — After more than a decade of bloodletting in Algeria that has left at least 150,000 people dead, a controversial blueprint for peace sponsored by President Abdelaziz Bouteflika is to be put to a referendum tomorrow.

Mr. Bouteflika has campaigned hard to elicit support for his Charter for Peace and National Reconciliation, whose highlights include an effective amnesty for many of the armed Islamic militants who rose up after the army cancelled a 1992 election Islamic politicians were poised to win.

The independent Algerian League for the Defense of Human Rights (LADDH) has dismissed the referendum as “scandalous and absurd,” since “nobody has a right to vote no.”


Spain to return smuggled youngsters

MADRID — Spain backs the creation of reception centers in Morocco for a growing number of Moroccan minors entering Spanish territory illegally, Secretary of State for Immigration Consuelo Rumi Ibenez said yesterday.

She told a press conference the centers would be featured in talks tomorrow between Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and his Moroccan counterpart, Driss Jettou, in Seville, southern Spain.

“We will do the groundwork and address the financial side,” Mrs. Rumi Ibenez said.


Foreign firms asked to hire only Libyans

TRIPOLI — Libya has asked foreign companies employing non-Libyans to train Libyans to prepare them to replace foreign workers.

Labor Ministry official Fathallah bin Jareed told employment agencies they “should give priority to Libyans seeking work rather than importing workers from abroad.”

He said foreign companies requesting permission to employ expatriates will be asked to train Libyans to fill vacant positions for which foreigners are sought.

Weekly notes …

Algerian terrorists of the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC) issued a call for action against France, which it described as “Enemy No. 1,” intelligence officials said yesterday. “The only way to teach France to behave is jihad and the Islamic martyr,” the group’s leader, Abu Mossab Abdelwadud, also called Abdelmalek Dourkdal, was quoted as saying in an Internet message. “France is … the enemy of our religion, the enemy of our community,” he said. …

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, a close U.S. ally, was sworn in yesterday to a fifth six-year term and called on “the majority and the opposition” to work for a modern and democratic Egypt. In an address to parliament, which is dominated by his National Democratic Party, Mr. Mubarak also pledged to reform his regime, improve services and raise the living standards of Egyptians during his new term.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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