- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Europe warned against Gaza patrol

CAIRO | Egypt warned European countries Tuesday to think carefully before sending ships to patrol Gaza’s coastal waters to prevent arms smuggling, saying such a move could have significant consequences on ties with Arab states.

The warning by Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit came after British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Britain, France and Germany had offered to send warships to monitor and prevent arms smuggling to Gaza and to help consolidate a shaky cease-fire.

The three European Union countries have sent a joint letter to the Israeli and Egyptian governments outlining their offer of naval support, Mr. Brown said. They were also willing to help monitor border crossings in Gaza.

The German government, however, has said it was not planning to provide naval support, but was looking into supporting Egypt in monitoring land borders and assessing provision of technical equipment or expertise.


Greece to help cultural rebuilding

ATHENS | Greece pledged Tuesday to provide financial and technical aid to help Iraq restore its damaged archaeological sites and museums.

Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis said Greece and Iraq also have agreed to build a monument honoring the Greek warrior-king Alexander the Great at an ancient battlefield near Mosul in southern Iraq.

She was speaking after talks in Athens with Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari.

Iraqi museums and sites suffered extensive damage and looting in the wake of the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. The National Museum of Baghdad, a treasure trove of artifacts from the Stone Age through the Babylonian, Assyrians and Islamic periods, fell victim to bands of armed thieves. Up to 7,000 pieces are still missing.


Clashes denied near U.S. Embassy

SAN’A | Yemeni security authorities on Tuesday denied clashes had occurred near the U.S. Embassy in San’a, though warning shots were fired to stop a speeding car at a checkpoint, a security official said.

Shots were fired in the air close to midnight Monday when a car carrying three men was seen speeding near the security checkpoint, the official said. He confirmed that the three were arrested and their car confiscated, but denied earlier reports that they were gunmen who fired back.

The official the U.S. Embassy lies far from where the incident happened.

Preliminary investigations showed the arrested men had no weapons and the incident was merely accidental “without any criminal or terrorist motivation,” the official said.


Holocaust museum honors Muslims’ aid

RAMLE | An exhibition on Albanian Muslims who sheltered Jews during World War II opened in this mixed Jewish-Arab town Tuesday to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

It was the first time that Yad Vashem, Israel’s national Holocaust memorial, has hosted a standing exhibition in Hebrew and Arabic. Holding the event in Ramle, a working-class town where thousands of Arabs live alongside Jews, underscored the goal of improving relations.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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