- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 7, 2006


King to press Olmert on Arab-Israeli talks

AMMAN — Jordan’s King Abdullah will push Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert at talks in Amman tomorrow to revive stalled Arab-Israeli peace negotiations through international mediation, officials said yesterday.

Mr. Olmert’s visit, the first to the kingdom by an Israeli prime minister in six years, will focus on lobbying Israel to return to talks sponsored by Middle East peace brokers under the 2003 “road map” for peace.

The Middle East peace road map was drafted by the so-called Quartet of the United States, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations before Israel started its barrier in the West Bank, cutting off Israeli settlers from Palestinian areas.


Women optimistic about winning seats

KUWAIT CITY — Running for office for the first time after 44 years of struggle led to their winning full political rights, Kuwaiti women are optimistic of winning seats in the 50-member parliament.

Thirty-two women are among 380 hopefuls on the June 29 ballot. So far, 26 male and one female candidate have withdrawn. Others are expected to do so before the June 24 deadline, either because they decide their chances of victory are slim or because they have struck deals with other candidates.


Kurdish rebels kill two soldiers

DIYARBAKIR — Two Turkish soldiers were killed and two others wounded yesterday in an ambush by separatist Kurdish rebels, while a remote-controlled land mine targeted a school bus, injuring two more soldiers, officials said.

Rebels of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party opened fire on soldiers on patrol near Semdinli, in southeastern Hakkari province close to the border with Iraq, killing two of them. Two others were wounded in the attack.

In Pulumur, Tunceli province rebels set off a land mine by remote control as an armored minibus carrying the children of local soldiers was passing, the officials said.

Weekly notes …

Hamas is ready to hold talks with rival Palestinian group Fatah to solve a political crisis after mediation by Yemenite President Ali Abdullah Saleh. “We don’t know if Fatah has accepted, but Hamas is ready to hold talks in Yemen at the highest level,” Abu Marzouk, a member of Hamas’ exiled leadership in Syria, told Reuters. … The European Union could open entry negotiations with Turkey and Croatia next week, eight months after giving the two EU hopefuls a formal green light, EU sources in Brussels said yesterday. One diplomat cautioned that the 25 EU governments, which must agree unanimously, have not done so, and the issue is expected to be discussed again tomorrow.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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