- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 4, 2006


Crackdown promisedon insurgent funding

ABU DHABI — Persian Gulf Arab states have promised to crack down harder on sources of funding for a bloody Sunni Muslim insurgency in Iraq, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said yesterday.

“We agreed with our brothers to confront terrorism and dry up its sources by closing fake companies that fund terrorism in Iraq,” Mr. al-Maliki told reporters in the United Arab Emirates capital Abu Dhabi on his tour of Sunni-ruled Gulf states to gain political and economic support for his new government.

The world’s top oil exporting region has been fighting money laundering, particularly since the September 11 attacks on the United States, but analysts say dirty money is still around, especially in the booming UAE emirate of Dubai.


Foreign ministerheads to Washington

ANKARA — Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul flew to the United States yesterday for talks with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice aimed at giving a boost to bilateral ties, which have been badly hurt by the war in Iraq.

Mr. Gul was scheduled to hold talks today with Miss Rice as well as with National Security Adviser Stephen J. Hadley.

In remarks to reporters at the Ankara airport, Mr. Gul said he and Miss Rice would present a “common vision document” outlining the two NATO allies’ shared positions on international affairs.

He said the paper was not a treaty but a document “outlining a common vision on which both countries will work and expend efforts.”


Referendum proposedto allow third term

ALGIERS — President Abdelaziz Bouteflika said yesterday that he hoped to hold a referendum this year on changing the country’s constitution to allow him a third term.

“We want the referendum on the amendment to the constitution to be organized … before the end of the year,” said Mr. Bouteflika, who is also the country’s defense minister, at a military ceremony.

The president invited Algerians to “express their views on the proposed amendments to the constitution,” the details of which he said would be made public “soon.”


Government deniessheltering terrorist

SAN’A — Yemen yesterday denied press reports that Izzat Ibrahim al-Duri, who tops the Iraqi government’s list of most wanted fugitives, was undergoing hospital treatment in the capital San’a.

“Such reports are totally fabricated and groundless,” said a Foreign Ministry spokesman who urged the press to abstain from reporting “false information.”

Al-Duri, the most senior official from the ousted Saddam Hussein regime to be still on the run, heads the 41 most-wanted list released by the Iraqi government Sunday with a $10 million bounty.


U.S. music producerpardoned after trial

DUBAI — U.S. hip-hop producer Dallas Austin was granted a pardon yesterday, hours after a Dubai court sentenced him to four years in jail for possession of narcotics, a local newspaper said.

The report on the Gulf News Web site did not say who issued the pardon, which is usually granted by the rulers of the emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates.

Local newspapers said on Monday that Mr. Austin was arrested at the Dubai airport on May 19 when police found at least 1.26 grams of cocaine and other illegal substances in his possession.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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