- The Washington Times - Monday, November 30, 2009

FRANCE

Diplomatic ties restored with Rwanda

PARIS | France and Rwanda have restored diplomatic ties, officials in both countries said Sunday, three years after relations were severed when a Paris judge accused Rwandan President Paul Kagame of ordering his predecessor’s assassination.

President Nicolas Sarkozy’s chief of staff, Claude Gueant, had discussions with Mr. Kagame in Rwanda’s capital Sunday. Afterward, Mr. Sarkozy and Mr. Kagame “decided to re-establish diplomatic relations,” a statement from the president’s office said. Rwanda’s foreign minister confirmed the move.

France and Rwanda have frequently sparred over the 1994 genocide in the African country. But tensions peaked in November 2006 when Rwanda cut off diplomatic relations with France, furious about a French probe into Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana’s mysterious assassination - a probe that led to French efforts to arrest officials close to Mr. Kagame.

That sensitive case has not been resolved. France insists that its justice system is completely independent and that the case did not figure in the negotiations leading to restored ties.

RUSSIA

Train bombing’s victims mourned

MOSCOW | Russians mourned at religious services and soccer stadiums Sunday after a deadly train wreck that authorities blamed on a terrorist bomb. The leader of the Russian Orthodox Church urged the nation not to give in to fear.

Relatives identified loved ones killed in the wreck of the express train. If confirmed as caused by a bombing, the wreck would be Russia’s deadliest terrorist attack outside the violence-plagued North Caucasus provinces in five years.

The rear three cars of the Nevsky Express, one of Russia’s fastest trains, derailed on a remote stretch of track late Friday as it sped from Moscow to St. Petersburg, killing some passengers and trapping others in the jumbled wreckage.

Emergency Situations Minister Sergei Shoigu said at least 25 people were killed and officials had not accounted for 26.

ITALY

Chef missing from cruise ship

ROME | Italy’s foreign ministry says a chef from the country is missing from a U.S.-flagged cruise ship and the FBI is investigating.

Angelo Faliva was last seen in the kitchen of the Princess Cruises’ Coral Princess at about 8:15 p.m. Wednesday while he was working his dinner shift.

Mr. Faliva’s sister, Chiara Faliva, said Sunday that the family was alerted Thursday that he had been reported missing and that a life preserver also was missing, with its nighttime illumination flares torn off and left aboard the ship.

The Coral Princess left Miami on Nov. 23 and was sailing between Aruba and Cartagena, Colombia, when Mr. Faliva disappeared. The ship is due to dock in Los Angeles on Dec. 7. Colombian maritime authorities also are investigating.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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