The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 15, 1997 · Page 4
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 4

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Thursday, May 15, 1997
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A4 THURSDAY, MAY 15, 1997 IMTIERIMATIOIMAIL THE SALINA JOURNAL V MIDDLE EAST Is peace process on track? .Palestinians, Israelis are still far apart on issue of building settlements 'By The Associated Press . RAMALLAH, West Dank — Urged on by the United States, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators held their first talks in two months Wednesday in hopes of patching up the faltering peace process. Still, the two sides remained far apart on the question of Israeli settlement building — one of the issues that led to a breakdown in : talks in March. The Wednesday night meeting •was held at the home of U.S. Ambassador Martin Indyk in Her- zliya, north of Tel Aviv. Israel was represented by Defense Minister Yitzhak Mordechai and the Palestinians by negotiator Saeb Erekat, Israeli radio said. No such talks have been held since mid-March, when Israel broke ground for a Jewish housing project in Jerusalem on land captured from the Arabs in 1967. The ground-breaking was followed by weeks of clashes in the West Bank between Palestinian youths and Israeli troops. Despite the differences between the two sides, Indyk said he was cautiously optimistic. "I believe that we have some reasons to hope that — although it will be very difficult — we will succeed in putting the process back on track," he said. Ruling on Netanyahu nears After 13 hours of hearings and deliberations, Israel's Supreme Court failed to reach a decision Wednesday on opposition requests to overrule prosecutors and charge Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with fraud. Israel radio and army radio reported that the ruling would be handed down in a few weeks. At issue is Netanyahu's appointment of a political crony as attorney general in January. Police suspect the man, Jerusalem lawyer Roni Bar-On, was appointed at the behest of Netanyahu's key coalition partner, Aryeh Deri, who allegedly believed Bar-On would act to end his corruption trial. T IRAN T ZAIRE The Associated Press This woman, trying to sell chickens, Is the only Zairlan to set up a stall Wednesday In the otherwise deserted Kinshasa market. Peace talks collapse Kinshasa may be prize target of rebel leader By TOM COHEN The Associated I'ress KINSHASA, Zaire — Planned peace talks to avert a bloody battle for Zaire's capital broke down Wednesday, and Kinshasa's millions retreated to their homes to await the threatened advance of rebel forces. Residents still hoped President Mobutu Sese Seko — stood up by Laurent Kabila on Wednesday for talks on a ship off Point Noire, Congo — would give up his losing war without attempting a last stand against Kabila. "We don't want war in Kinshasa," said Bienvenu Ikongho, a 19-year-old student. Kabila said he objected to the site of the meeting, but his snub raised doubts about whether he was willing to stop fighting just as the capital — the prize of his nine-month rebellion — was within reach. A Western diplomat and Zairian military officials, all speaking on condition of anonymity, said Kabila's rebels had reached the Black River, about 60 miles outside Kinshasa and the last major defensive position before the capital. "We are in favor of reconciliation, but if it's necessary to take up arms, the government is ready" to defend Kinshasa, Information Minister Kin-Kiey Mulumba said Wednesday night. State-run radio, seeking to allay suspicions in the capital of an impending fight, declared that rebels were much farther away — on the far side of the Kwango River, 120 miles east of Kinshasa. Kinshasa's people listened inside their homes, kept off the streets by a general strike called by the rebels' supporters and a night curfew imposed by the government, ostensibly to prevent looting. "The curfew has nothing to do with any progression of the rebels," state radio insisted. People who were on the streets paid little attention earlier in the day when Mobutu's motorcade sped through Kinshasa on its way to the airport. There, the increasingly reviled president boarded his private Boeing 727 to fly to the talks. Once in Congo, Mobutu waited for hours for Kabila's arrival. The South African ship kept its engines running, waiting to take the two rivals into international waters as agreed. Finally, frustrated U.N. envoy Mohamed Sahnoun announced that Kabila had raised a last-minute objection to the site of the talks. Sahnoun said Kabila had wanted the ship to already be in international waters when his helicopter arrived — contrary to already agreed-on conditions. Mediators refused to comply. "We are not going to give up," Sahnoun said. "We will continue to try to avoid another humanitarian tragedy." South African President Nelson Mandela, another key mediator seeking to broker an end to Zaire's war, tried late Wednesday to persuade Kabila and Mobutu to consider talks in South Africa instead. "President Mandela spoke personally to Kabila (by phone) ... and asked him for the sake of the people of Zaire that he should go to South Africa," said Frank Chikane, director-general to South African Deputy President Thabo Mbeki. "He has indicated that he is committed to continuing the talks." T RUSSIA-NATO Russia, NATO enter new era of cooperation Former foes praise accord as a move to ensure peace in Europe By DAVE CARPENTER The Associated Press MOSCOW — NATO and Russia agreed Wednesday on a landmark accord outlining post-Cold War security and designed to ease Moscow's anger over the alliance's expansion. The former foes praised the agreement, which requires final approval by NATO's member governments, as a big stride toward ensuring a peaceful Europe. President Clinton said it would give Russia "a voice in, but not a veto over NATO's business." Most important, for now, could be the mere fact of a breakthrough that allows Russia to formally accept the bitter reality of the alliance's expansion into Eastern Europe — practically on its borders. Because of the agreement, Yeltsin said in a televised interview, "we will accept the situation much more calmly than before. If we were anxious before this document ... after it is signed our anxieties will go away." The document, if approved by the 16 member nations, could be signed May 27 when Russia Presi- T POLAND dent Yeltsin travels to Paris for a Russia-NATO summit. NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana of Spain and Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov announced the agreement after a negotiating round that lasted much of the night and climaxed months of tough talks. The final breakthrough came after Solana spoke with Yeltsin by telephone. "Reason has prevailed," pronounced a relieved Solana, who exchanged pats on the back with the smiling Primakov at a brief news conference following their meeting at a government residence in Moscow. NATO, moving to strengthen European security in the wake of the Cold War, plans to announce its first round of expansion at a July summit in Madrid. Three of Moscow's former Warsaw Pact allies tabbed as the .likely new members: Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic. Yeltsin asserted that the agreement ensures NATO will not. station nuclear weapons and other forces on the territory of new members. "Since (the document says) military forces won't be placed on the territory of new members, then military forces won't be placed there. Nuclear weapons won't be placed there," Yeltsin said. Shipyard where Solidarity began will become a disco By The Associated Press WARSAW, Poland — Seventeen years ago, the Gdansk shipyard gave birth to the Solidarity movement that freed Poland from communism. The bankrupt shipyard is now giving birth to a disco. A private company has rented one of the shipyard warehouses and work has started to turn the hall into a discotheque, said Bogdan Oleszek, a shipyard manager. Oleszek said the hall, next to one of the shipyard gates in downtown Gdansk, has not been used for several years. The 50-year-old shipyard, where the Solidarity democracy movement was launched by Lech Wale- sa in 1980, was declared bankrupt last August with debts of some $150 million after several banks refused to extend loans. The government, which owns 60 percent of the yard, announced March 6 it was closing and laid off about 3,600 workers. About 800 workers remain employed in the shipyard, completing construction of a ship for a Norwegian contractor. Next task in Iran is to shelter quake survivors 7huel/cd2ue. True Savings NOW THROUGH SUNDAY, MAY 24 Planeloads of blankets and tents arrive from Europe, Arab countries By The Associated Press MASHHAD, Iran — In the cavernous, gold-domed tomb of a Shiite Muslim saint, the 43-year-old woman clung to her only surviving child Wednesday and looked around at what has become her temporary home. Zahra Mahmoudzadeh's husband, three daughters and son were among the 1,560 people killed in a 7.1 magnitude earthquake Saturday. Her house in the village of Ardakul was destroyed. Aid workers brought her to Mashhad, and now she lives on the shrine's marble floors. "Help me! What am I going to do?" Mahmoudzadeh cried as several women among the thousands of worshipers inside the cool shrine tried to comfort her. Emergency rescue work ended Wednesday, state-run Tehran radio said, suggesting that no more survivors would be found under the rubble of wrecked villages in mountainous northeastern Iran. Left to soldiers, villagers and aid workers was the task of sheltering the survivors like Mah- moudzadeh and burying corpses of villagers and animals to prevent the spread of disease. Planeloads of tents, blankets and kerosene stoves arrived Wednesday in Mashhad from Europe and Arab countries. From there, they were trucked for five hours over rough terrain to the arc of villages between Qaen and Birjand hardest hit by the magnitude-?.1 quake. In Abiz, villagers buried corpses and distributed heaters to survivors living in tents; at night, temperatures drop to 40 degrees. Health workers sprayed the rubble with disinfectant. Tehran radio said although emergency work was over, aid would continue to be provided to the region. In several hard-hit villages visited by reporters, most refugees were in tents, water supplies were adequate and there was enough food for two or three months. Bulldozers had reopened many of the roads that had been blocked by rubble. 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