- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 8, 2006

ISRAEL

Iran nukes won’t take single-state solution

JERUSALEM — Israel will not target Iran’s nuclear facilities, which the Jewish state says are used to secretly develop an atomic bomb, a senior U.S. official told Agence France-Presse yesterday, “because it has said this is a problem of the entire world.”

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will meet with President Bush in Washington next week for talks that are expected to focus on Iran’s suspected nuclear program. Israel, widely considered the Middle East’s sole nuclear-weapons power, considers Iran its chief foe, pointing to calls from President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to wipe the Jewish state off the map.

Iran denies it is seeking to develop an atomic weapon and insists its nuclear program is intended solely to generate electricity.

SYRIA

Israeli withdrawal from Golan pressed

DAMASCUS — Syria urged world powers yesterday to take serious steps to bring about an Israeli withdrawal from the occupied Golan Heights in exchange for “constructive” cooperation in the region.

The official Tishrin daily said: “It seems unreasonable to ask Syria to play a constructive role when part of its territory is occupied because the Golan is one of the main givens of Syrian policy.”

Damascus wants serious international cooperation to “put an end to the occupation of lands seized in 1967 and to force Israel to submit to United Nations resolutions,” the newspaper added. “The United States … has abandoned the peace process, and the European countries … often align themselves with American policy.”

YEMEN

Al Qaeda claims role in attempted attacks

CAIRO — Al Qaeda purportedly has taken responsibility for attempted suicide attacks on two oil installations in Yemen and vowed more strikes against the United States and its allies, according to a statement posted on the Internet.

“Let the Americans and their allies … know that these operations are only the first spark and that what is coming is more severe and bitter,” the statement said.

The statement was dated Oct. 13 but was posted this week. Its authenticity could not be verified, but it was posted on a Web site frequently used by Islamist militants.

Suicide bombers tried to strike two oil facilities in Yemen with explosives-packed cars on Sept. 15.

Weekly notes …

The chairman of a press freedom group has asked Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld to intervene personally in the case of an Associated Press photojournalist detained by the U.S. military for nearly seven months. Photographer Bilal Hussein was arrested in Iraq in April under circumstances that remain vague and unexplained by the Pentagon. In a letter faxed to Mr. Rumsfeld on Monday, Paul E. Steiger, chairman of the Committee to Protect Journalists in New York, said the group was concerned about Mr. Hussein’s indefinite detention without charges or a trial. The European Commission will reveal the worst-kept secret in Brussels today when it issues a widely leaked progress report on Turkey’s candidacy to the European Union set to criticize Ankara without raising new hurdles.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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