Al-Ahram Weekly   Al-Ahram Weekly
16 - 22 December 1999
Issue No. 460
Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875 Issues navigation Current Issue Previous Issue Back Issues

 
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Ideal choice

UN SECRETARY-General Kofi Annan outlined the characteristics of the ideal candidate for the position of head of the new UN inspection agency for divesting Iraq of its remaining weapons of mass destruction.

Speaking on Tuesday, Annan took an indirect swipe at the Former Chief Inspector Richard Butler, by stating that the new inspector "should be able to get the Iraqis to work with the UN as it tries to create a new policy to disarm Iraq; [he] should have good judgement, should have people skills and be firm but correct". Referring to Rolf Ekeus, Sweden's ambassador to the US, who was the executive director of the UN Special Commission on Iraq before he left in 1997, Annan said he was looking for someone with similar qualifications.

War games

TURKISH and Israeli warships began joint military exercises in the eastern Mediterranean at dawn yesterday, highlighting the growing relationship between the two countries. A US warship, the USS Underwood, was also participating in the reliant Mermaid-99 exercises, being held for the second year in a row, underscoring the importance the United States attaches to the Israel-Turkey relationship.

Talks eve

THE LEBANESE resistance group Hizbullah yesterday launched a string of attacks on Israeli positions in southern Lebanon just hours ahead of the resumption of peace talks between Syria and Israel in Washington. Hizbullah fighters attacked no fewer than 16 positions held by the Israeli army and its proxy, the South Lebanon Army, in the occupied border strip, AFP reported.

Meanwhile, a Jewish settler leader on the Golan Heights warned of violent resistance to a return of the Israeli-occupied plateau in any peace deal with Syria. The Israeli daily Haaretz quoted Avi Zaira, a senior member of the Golan Settlement Committee, as saying that if the settlers could not win their case in a referendum, they would blow up bridges and even attack Israeli defence forces to defend their settlements.

Many of the 17,000 Jewish settlers on the Heights have launched a campaign to block a return of the Golan, captured by Israel in the 1967 war.

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