- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 12, 2009

AL-HAYAT (LONDON)

Opposition slams call for dialogue

The Afghan political and military opposition has cast doubt on President Obama’s call for dialogue with the “moderates” in the Taliban for peace in Afghanistan, saying the primary condition for any such talks is the withdrawal of foreign forces from the country and that there are “no moderate Taliban.”

Leaders in the Islamic Party told Al-Hayat that the U.S. president’s call was a strong sign that it was “the beginning of the American defeat in Afghanistan.”

AL-QUDS AL-ARABI (LONDON)



Rabat sought advice before severing ties

Diplomatic sources in Rabat said that Morocco consulted closely with several Arab countries concerned with relations with Iran, especially Saudi Arabia, before announcing its decision to sever ties with Tehran.

The diplomats told Al-Quds al-Arabi that Rabat informed Saudi officials about its decision 48 hours before it was announced, adding that the Saudis did not express their position clearly on the issue.

AL-GOMHURIA (EGYPT)

Iranian throws shoe at Ahmadinejad

Some local Iranian press reports said that an Iranian man threw his shoe at Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and another hurled his turban at him last week during a campaign visit to the city of Urumiye.

The reports said Mr. Ahmadinejad’s security could not find the two people who threw the garments after they disappeared into the large crowd.

AL-RAYAH (QATAR)

Bashir: ICC ‘Under My Boots’

Sudanese President Omar Bashir on Sunday threatened to expel nongovernmental organizations, diplomats and U.N. troops in Sudan if they don’t respect the laws of his country.

He told thousands of supporters in North Darfur that the International Criminal Court, which issued an arrest warrant against him, its prosecutors and all those who support it “are under my boots.” He added, “They told us if we allow the [nongovernmental] organizations to work, we will suspend the warrant, but we refused.”

AL-SABAH (IRAQ)

Maliki: Dialogue not return to past

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki denied that talking with opposition parties is a return to the past, insisting on the need for national dialogue to rebuild the country.

He said during a meeting with tribal leaders that differences must be contained, especially after it has become clear to everyone that there can be no stability without unity, equality, justice and the rule of law.

• Compiled by Sana Abdallah of the Middle East Times

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