- - Wednesday, August 22, 2012

CAIRO — Egypt’s president will visit the United States next month, an aide said Wednesday. The visit could serve as a step toward cementing Egypt’s longtime alliance with Washington.

It will be Mohamed Morsi’s first trip to the United States since taking office June 30, but not his first American experience. He received a doctorate in engineering from the University of Southern California in 1982.

Moving to reshape the former regime’s foreign policy, which many Egyptians see as too pro-Western, Mr. Morsi chose to visit Saudi Arabia as his first trip outside the country as president, followed by a visit to Ethiopia. He also is planning a trip to China and Iran.

Presidential spokesman Yasser Ali told reporters that Mr. Morsi’s three-day visit to the U.S. will begin Sept. 23. It will include stops in Washington and New York, where he will attend the U.N. General Assembly session.


‘Foreign spies’ blamed for insider attacks

KABUL — The Afghan government blamed foreign spy agencies for a rising number of killings in which government soldiers and policemen have fatally shot or injured their international partners, and ordered stricter vetting of recruits and screening of those in the 350,000-member Afghan security force.

The U.S. had no information suggesting that the insider attacks were the work of foreign intelligence services, a senior U.S. defense official said.

Instead, he said attacks typically are carried out by Afghans acting on their own, although some might have had help, on occasion, from insurgent networks.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai summoned members of his national security council to the palace for an unscheduled meeting to discuss cases in which members of Afghan security forces or militants wearing their uniforms have turned their weapons on foreign troops.

So far this year, there have been 32 insider attacks against coalition forces, resulting in 40 deaths, according to the NATO military alliance. That’s up from 21 attacks for all of 2011, with 35 killed.


U.N. chief to attend controversial summit in Iran

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will attend the summit of the Non-Aligned Movement of mainly developing countries in Tehran next week despite strong opposition from Israel and Jewish groups outraged at Iran’s calls for the destruction of Israel, the U.N. announced Wednesday.

U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky said Mr. Ban will participate in the Aug. 29-31 summit because he is determined to carry out his responsibilities to the 120-member organization and to raise directly with Iran’s leaders the threat to Israel’s existence, which violates the U.N. Charter’s requirement that member states refrain from threatening other states.

Mr. Ban also plans to convey the international community’s expectations that Iran make urgent progress on issues including the country’s controversial nuclear program, terrorism, human rights and the crisis in Syria, Mr. Nesirky said.


West Africans threaten force if Mali talks break down

DAKAR — Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan said Wednesday that regional troops would definitely intervene in Islamist-occupied northern Mali if negotiations with the extremists failed to yield a solution.

“Diplomacy or negotiation is the first; military intervention is extreme. When negotiation fails, that is the time you can talk about military intervention,” Mr. Jonathan said on a 24-hour visit to Senegal.

He said the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) would also need a United Nations mandate before stepping in.

“ECOWAS will definitely intervene militarily, but … first and foremost, we are negotiating,” said the Nigerian leader after talks with Senegalese President Macky Sall.


Minister: Ecuador won’t put Belarus dissident in jeopardy

QUITO — Ecuador’s deputy foreign minister says his government will treat Belarus’ extradition request for a former police investigator with the same respect for human rights that he said guided the country in the case of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Marco Albuja told reporters Wednesday that if Ecuador finds Aliaksandr Barankov’s life would be at risk at home, either from the death penalty or life in prison, it will apply the same criteria it did in granting asylum to Mr. Assange.

Mr. Barankov won political-refugee status after arguing that he fears being killed in prison if sent home because he unearthed high-level corruption involving relatives of President Alexander Lukashenko. Mr. Barankov was arrested and jailed in Ecuador shortly before Mr. Lukashenko visited in June.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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