C4 WEDNESDAY, MAY 7, 1997 INTERNATIONAL THE SALINA JOURNAL T ZAIRE Mobutu leaves country With rebels closing in, Zaire president's reign appears near an end By TINA SUSMAN The Associated l^ress KINSHASA, Zaire -- President Mobutu Sese Seko abruptly announced plans Tuesday to leave his threatened capital for a short trip abroad -- and it was unclear whether he is ever coming back. Rebel forces are closing in on Kinshasa, and Mobutu's aides offer conflicting accounts over whether Zaire's leader may be going into exile to end his losing war against rebel leader Laurent Kabila. As U.S. envoy Bill Richardson tried to wrest a peaceful settlement out of Kabila, the rebel chief pledged to take Kinshasa within days with forces he claimed were just 40 miles from the capital. State-run radio reported that Mobutu would leave Kinshasa today for two days of talks in Gabon with the leaders of Cameroon, Central African Republic, Gabon, Togo and Congo — all strong supporters of Mobutu throughout his seven- month war with Kabila. He planned to return Friday to Kinshasa, presidential aides said, dismissing speculation The Associated Press Zaire President Mobutu Sese Seko leans on his cane during a press conference Sunday with rebel leader Laurent Kabila. that Mobutu might use the trip to launch his exile into a third country following the failure of a weekend summit with Kabila. "This meeting was planned before that summit," Information Minister Kin-Kiey Mulum- ba said. "This was not a sudden trip. He is returning to Kinshasa afterward." Another government aide, however, said Mobutu could be on his way to France. When asked whether Mobutu intended to return, that aide said on condition of anonymity: "That's what has been said. But if you ask me personally, I'd say he plans to make this a transit stop on the way to France." Mobutu, 66, has a villa on the French Riviera and may be considering a retreat to France, which for decades helped to prop up the Mobutu regime and where the president has spent months following prostate cancer treatment. Mobutu's private jet sat on the airport tarmac Tuesday, its door open and a soldier standing guard beside it. But there was no sign of the president, who has made no statements since his Sunday face-to-face meeting with Kabi- la on a South African ship off the Congolese coast. The 90-minute meeting underscored the intransigence of both men. Kabila, who showed up a day late, repeated his demand that Mobutu resign. Mobutu demanded an immediate cease-fire from Kabila, and insisted he would surrender power only to a transitional authority that would organize elections. Despite Mobutu's hard-line position, it's obvious his nearly 32-year reign is drawing to a rapid close — something most Zairians in the capital seem to welcome. T MIDDLE EAST Israeli president sees progress Weizman meets with Arafat to end impasse in peace talks By The Associated Press EREZ CROSSING, Gaza Strip — Israeli-Palestinian security cooperation will increase, Israel's president said Tuesday, citing progress at a meeting with Yasser Arafat intended to break a two- month impasse in peace talks. Ezer Weizman, acting essentially as an envoy for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, suggested the Palestinian leader agreed during the two-hour meeting to again cooperate fully with Israel on security matters. Arafat, at the same post-meeting news conference, did not directly confirm the claim, saying only that "both of us should maintain security for both peoples." Restoring full security cooperation is Israel's key demand for resuming peace talks, which broke down in March after Israel broke ground on a Jewish neighborhood in a disputed part of Jerusalem. "Talks will be renewed between the security chiefs of the Palestinian Authority and Israel," Weiz- man said. "This was agreed, and I hope in the coming days it will begin to work." Weizman said the two men discussed the possibility of a meeting between Netanyahu and Arafat, but left the matter open. The meeting on the Israel-Gaza border came a day before U.S. envoy Dennis Ross was expected to return to the region in hopes of restarting the talks. Weizman, whose post as president is mostly ceremonial, said his goal "was to break the ice that existed." Israeli news reports had said that Weizman was empowered by Netanyahu to offer Arafat a series of concessions. Israel's Channel 2 TV had, reported that Netanyahu was offering through Weizman to allow the building of air and sea ports in Gaza, safe passage routes connecting the West Bank and Gaza, and new Palestinian housing in Jerusalem. Under existing accords, Israel already has agreed to the ports and safe passage, but has not allowed construction on them to go forward. The CUPBOARD 2 911 B. West Crawford, Salina Salina Board of Realtors Presents the **v^ .A«AO^ SATURDAY May 17, 1997 Many prizes will be available! Register now for Spring Scramble Registration, Coffee & Rolls 8:00 am Putting Contest at 8:00 am 1:00 pm Lunch Provided. Shotgun Start 9:00 an Entry fee: $140 per team (4 per team) Registration deadline, May 10, 1997. Salina Board of Realtors, 210 S. Ohio, Salina. 825-4607. Lebanese troops called on for papal security BEIRUT, Lebanon — Lebanon ^will send 20,000 soldiers and police mto Beirut's streets to protect Pope John Paul II during his visit this weekend. A quarter of the country's secu- ' rity forces will be on duty to protect the pontiff when he arrives ; Saturday for a 32-hour visit, government spokeswoman May Kah- hale said Tuesday. John Paul was to have visited Lebanon in 1994, but his trip was ; cancelled after the bombing of a -church, which killed 10 worshipers. ;"..- During his visit, the pope will : 'lead an outdoor rally for 12,000 - youth in the country's Christian . heartland north of Beirut and lead "'a mass, also outdoors, for 300,000 t people in downtown Beirut. Scapegoat in hostage crisis leaves Peru . LIMA, Peru — The Lima police .chief blamed for the lax security v that allowed rebels to seize hun- -dreds of hostages at the Japanese T ambassador's residence has unexpectedly left for Mexico. -- Lt. Gen. Luis Malasquez and 18 other top police officials were ao ' ,cused by Interior Minister Cesar ,-Saucedo last week of failing to act '; on a warning by Peru's intelligence service that such an attack .j.could take place. Local news media said "Malasquez went to Cancun, Mexi- '" co, Sunday to avoid prosecution. He has been called to appear today 'before Peru's Supreme Council of Military Justice to face charges of " 'negligence and disobedience. Rebels of the leftist Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement raided the residence Dec. 17, taking more than 500 hostages and demanding the release of impris- oned comrades. • The rebels freed most of the hostages, but held 72 for 126 days before military commandos staged a rescue mission that freed 71 of the captives. All 14 rebels, two commandos and one hostage were killed. Former major leaguer arrested in Puerto Rico SALINAS, Puerto Rico — A veteran of the Oakland Athletics baseball team that won three World Series championships in the 1970s has been arrested on charges of trafficking in heroin and cocaine. Angel Mangual and 21 other alleged members of the drug ring, including a policeman and a prison guard, were taken into custody Monday by police officers and federal agents. A federal indictment accuses Mangual of acting as an intermediary between drug-buyers and sellers. Mangual was an outfielder and designated hitter for the Oakland Athletics from 1971-76. The team won championships from 1972-74. From Wire Service Reports LET'S GO SWIMMING Swimming pool design and construction for over 44 years. Featuring: • Safety Ledge • Brick & Tile Trim •Waterfalls & Fountains Call now for SPECIAL pricing. McKEE'S 263-2141 1314 NW 2-ABILENE, KS *, Kf renew 1 Authentic Chinese Food Prepared From Scratch By Our Skilled Oriental Chefs Choice of Appetizer, Choice of Rice, Choice of any 3 Entrees Available Only ut our Chinese Kitchen* at the following locutions in Salina: • !)th and Magnolia Prices Good May 7- 13,1997. If You're Lookin / Numbers You Should Know. $0 Closing costs. 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