- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 30, 2008

SAUDI ARABIA

Abbas to meet king before Bush trip

RIYADH — Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is to meet Saudi King Abdullah today to coordinate policy ahead of President Bush’s Middle East trip, the Palestinian ambassador in Riyadh said.

During a short trip to Riyadh, Mr. Abbas “will brief the monarch on his recent talks in Washington and Moscow,” Jamal Shobaki told Agence France-Presse. “They will also discuss coordinating their political stands during President Bush’s upcoming visit to the region.”

IRAQ

Aziz trial opens, adjourns till May 20

BAGHDAD — The trial of Tariq Aziz, the international face of Saddam Hussein’s brutal regime, was adjourned until May 20 after a short 45-minute opening session yesterday.

Aziz and seven others are accused of executing 42 Baghdad businessmen in 1992 for raising food prices at a time when Iraq was under U.N. economic sanctions.

One of the other accused is Ali Hassan al-Majid, better known as “Chemical Ali” and already on death row after being convicted of genocide for his part in the killing of tens of thousands of Kurdish civilians in the late 1980s.

IRAN

Conservatives work with Ahmadinejad

TEHRAN — Iranian conservatives vowed yesterday to work more closely with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s government in the new parliament, saying a difficult international context demanded better cooperation.

Meanwhile, a leading conservative predicted that Mr. Ahmadinejad would run for a second term next year.

Ali Asghar Zareie, a member of the leadership council of the United Conservative Front, which won Iran’s legislative elections, said regional actions by the United States were “having effects on our economic problems.”

EGYPT

Muslim Brotherhood joins strike call

CAIRO — The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s largest opposition group, yesterday joined the campaign for a general strike against the government on May 4, the 80th birthday of long-serving President Hosni Mubarak.

Brotherhood leader Mohammed Mahdi Akef said people should stay home on that day “in peaceful protest to demand solutions to the crises and to tackle the deteriorating conditions that the people are suffering.”

LEBANON

Arab League chief to return for talks

BEIRUT — Arab League chief Amr Moussa is heading back to Beirut tomorrow in a fresh bid to find a solution to Lebanon’s political crisis.

Mr. Moussa has made several previous visits to the country, which has been mired in political deadlock and without a president since November, when former President Emile Lahoud stepped down at the end of his term.

From wire dispatches and staff reports


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