- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 7, 2006


Emir’s appointments break with tradition

KUWAIT CITY — The new emir, Sheik Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, appointed his brother Sheik Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Sabah yesterday as crown prince and heir to the throne.

The Kuwait News Agency and state television said the emir also appointed a nephew, Sheik Nasser Mohammad al-Ahmad al-Sabah, as prime minister. The moves end a long-held tradition that the position of emir and other top posts should rotate between the family’s two wings.

The three men are members of the Jaber clan of the Sabah dynasty. Left out was the Salem branch, whose leader Sheik Saad al-Abdulla al-Sabah was removed as emir by parliament last month for ill health.


Navy ex-leader jailed for corruption

ISTANBUL — A former head of the Turkish navy was sentenced yesterday to three years in jail on corruption charges in the first case in decades to touch the country’s revered military, state news agency Anatolian reported.

Adm. Ilhami Erdil, who commanded the navy from the late 1990s until 2002, was convicted of misappropriating funds and misusing public office, Anatolian reported.

The military is one of the most respected institutions in Turkey, but as part of the country’s attempt to join the European Union, the military’s power is being eroded and all military spending is being scrutinized by parliament.

Erdil is the highest-ranking military officer to face prosecution in about three decades. Corruption charges also were filed against another senior officer this month, local news reported.


Hamas expects to lead Palestinians

CAIRO — A Hamas leader said yesterday that it is likely that one of the Islamic party’s members would become Palestinian prime minister.

Hamas officials are holding talks in Egypt about the shape of a new Palestinian government after the party’s landslide victory in parliamentary elections on Jan. 25. The party says it wants to form a coalition that includes the defeated Fatah, which long dominated Palestinian politics.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is a member of Fatah, which was handily defeated in the vote. He has yet to formally ask Hamas, which won 74 seats in the 132-seat parliament, to form a government.

In Brussels, Leila Chahid, the Palestinian Authority’s envoy to the European Union, yesterday urged the bloc not to withdraw vital aid to the Palestinians because of the Hamas victory. “The question is whether [the EU states] want the survival of an institution which one day — I don’t know exactly when — will become a Palestinian state,” she told the 25-nation bloc.

Weekly notes …

Talks between Sudan’s government and rebels that were scheduled to start in Libya yesterday have been postponed, sources from both sides said. The rebel Eastern Front accused Khartoum of plotting to use the talks as cover for a renewed offensive against rebel bases near the Eritrean border. … The heroines of “The Girls of Riyadh” are four well-to-do girls about town and its subject is their hot gossip on love and lust, men and money. But the setting for this taboo-breaking, best-selling tale is the capital of ultraconservative, anti-feminist Saudi Arabia, where the book by Rajaa al Sanie, 24, is causing sensation and scandal.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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