- The Washington Times - Monday, May 22, 2006


Republic votes for independence

PODGORICA — Montenegrin Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic proclaimed victory for the pro-independence camp after yesterday’s referendum on splitting from Serbia.

“Ladies and gentlemen, let me tell you that tonight, by the decision of the people of Montenegro, an independent Montenegro has been renewed,” a jubilant Mr. Djukanovic told his supporters early today.

Turnout was 88 percent, poll analysts said, for the vote that completes the breakup of Yugoslavia.

The Center for Free Elections and Democracy and the Center for Monitoring said that the “yes” vote was 56.3 percent — surpassing the 55 percent threshold required for the outcome to be validated.


Gulf Arabs to discuss nuke fears with Iran

KUWAIT CITY — Iran’s Persian Gulf Arab neighbors plan to send a delegation to Iran to voice concern about its nuclear program, Kuwait’s foreign minister said yesterday.

“The team will reiterate the need for Iran to completely cooperate with the international community and the International Atomic Energy Agency,” Sheik Muhammad Sabah al-Salem al-Sabah said at a press conference with visiting German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

“The Gulf’s concerns are authentic, well-known and were clearly expressed at the Abu Dhabi summit last year and the consultative meeting in Riyadh,” the Kuwaiti said.


Parliamentary vote favors hard-liners

NICOSIA — Voters in Cyprus bolstered President Tassos Papadopoulos in a parliamentary election yesterday, applauding a government that has threatened to veto Turkey’s talks on entry into the European Union.

Parties that backed a 2004 U.N. peace plan for the divided Mediterranean island saw support erode, while those that fought the plan won wider voter approval, led by Mr. Papadopoulos’ Democratic Party, which had the biggest gains.

With nearly all votes counted, his party had 17.78 percent of the vote.


Suspect detained in Holloway case

AMSTERDAM — Dutch police have detained a man on suspicion of participating in the kidnapping and killing of American teen Natalee Holloway last year in Aruba, the suspect’s attorney said yesterday.

Gerard Spong said his client, whose name was not disclosed, was accused of “assisting in the murder, heavy battery and kidnapping” of Miss Holloway. He told Dutch national TV broadcaster NOS that the suspect was a croupier at the casino in the hotel where Miss Holloway was staying.

It was not clear when the suspect was arrested, but he was questioned Friday and is being held in the city of Utrecht, Mr. Spong said.


Government signals shift toward Europe

ROME — Italy will show less deference to the United States now that Silvio Berlusconi has lost power, Italy’s new center-left foreign minister said yesterday.

Massimo D’Alema, who is aiming for a swift withdrawal of Italian troops from Iraq, also signaled that Italy would draw closer to its traditional European allies under Prime Minister Romano Prodi.

“We are friends of the United States, but less obsequious when it comes to choices we don’t believe are just,” Mr. D’Alema told reporters on a visit to Sicily. “If the United States wants to have more sincere friends, it needs not to make certain errors.”

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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