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									Issue No ¥ 41,236

Sunday ¥ March 11 ¥ 2007

‘FBI abused power to get private records’
WASHINGTON - The FBI abused its power by illegally or improperly obtaining telephone, financial and other secret records in investigations of terrorism or espionage suspects, the US Justice Department's inspector general said yesterday. A report by Inspector General Glenn Fine's office sharply criticised the FBI for how, without a court order, it demanded and received records such as customer information from telephone companies, Internet service providers, banks and credit card firms. "We believe the improper or illegal uses we found involve serious misuses of national security authorities," Fine told Reuters.

IRAQI Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki (L) addressing a peace conference as Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari (R) listens in Baghdad yesterday. – AFP

Stay out of Iraq, Maliki tells rivals

MINISTER of State for Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Mufied Shehab addressing yesterday’s parliamentary session.

Egypt to pursue PoW killings
A SENIOR Egyptian official said yesterday that Egypt would pursue the issue of the 1967 massacre of Egyptian prisoners of war. "The case, which was first raised in1995, will not be closed until the findings of Israeli investigations are made public," Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit said. Abul Gheit told reporters that transcripts of the documentary recently aired on Israeli TV had been sent to the Speaker of the People's Assembly and the Chairman of the Shura Council and other bodies. "The transcript of the documentary is available for the Egyptian people to form their own judgments," he added. He denied statements attributed to him by some newspapers on severing ties with Israel over the documentary. He explained to reporters that action would be taken only after receiving the correct information. "[We] should verify every step to avoid mistakes in addressing the PoW issue, but we will continue to pursue it," Abul Gheit told reporters. Meanwhile, the People's Assembly (PA) rejected a statement yesterday by Israeli Ambassador to Egypt Shalom Cohen regarding the documentary after a meeting with Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit. Cohen claimed that the issue of the documentary had been "fabricated by extremists in the Egyptian Parliament". PA Speaker Ahmed Fathi Sorour called on Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit to come in person to the Parliament and deliver a statement on the issue. Sorour also demanded that a PA committee watch the documentary. "We should consult with experts to form our legal stance in order to safeguard the rights of the PoWs’ families," Sorour said.


AGHDAD - Iraq's prime minister urged regional rivals yesterday to stop playing out their differences in his country, addressing a meeting at which US officials sat down with adversaries from Iran and Syria. The conference in Baghdad aims to stop sectarian warfare in Iraq and prevent the conflict's spread throughout the region. In his opening speech, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said all those with a stake in the peace of the Middle East should stand firm against terrorism in Iraq.

"We call on all to take moral responsibility by adopting a strong and clear stance against terrorism in Iraq and cooperate in stamping out forces of terror," Maliki said, according to Reuters. "Our meeting with you today in Baghdad demonstrates support for the Iraqi people and Iraq's national unity government in our effort to confront all forms of terrorism in the country," Maliki said. Two explosions rocked the conference venue around lunchtime. A Reuters witness said they appeared to be mortars landing nearby.

Iraq plans to invite foreign ministers from regional countries and the G8 group of industrialised nations to a meeting in April, a government spokesman said later. Besides finding ways to stop the bloodshed in Iraq, the one-day meeting was a rare opportunity for old foes the United States, Iran and Syria to sit at the same table. There was no indication delegations from the three countries held any bilateral talks. Washington and Tehran are at loggerheads over Iran's nuclear programme.

Gaddafi urges Libyans to deter ‘foreign aggressors’
TRIPOLI - Muammar Gaddafi called on Libyans to devote themselves to military training to deter "foreign aggressors" from occupying the country and stealing its oil wealth. Invoking the 2003, US-led invasion of Iraq, Gaddafi was quoted by Reuters as telling a rally of supporters in the southern desert oasis of Fezzane the United States and Britain were trying to take control of Iraqi oil to "compensate for their losses in Iraq".

Low expectations for Abbas-Olmert meet
TEL AVIV - Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas hold their second summit in less than a month today but with few hopes of a breakthrough as both are facing major problems. Israeli and Palestinian officials raised yesterday minimal expectations and different versions of the agenda ahead of the expected talks in Jerusalem where Abbas and Olmert will meet for the third time in as many months. "I don't know what to raise the level of expectation, but this is nevertheless an important meeting," Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat told AFP. The Palestinian President intended to raise a range of matters linked to final status peace talks, he said, and petition Olmert to expand a fragile November 26 Israeli-Palestinian truce in the Gaza Strip to the West Bank.

Home ..................................2 Home talk .............................. 3 By Mohssen Arishie World ................................. 4 Business .............................. 5 Exchange rates ..................5 News review ......................6 Sport ...................................7 Slashes ................................ 8 By Ramadan A. Kader

Shura reviews constitutional changes
THE Shura Council (upper house of the Egyptian parliament) yesterday reviewed a report by its Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee on the proposed amendments to 34 articles of the Constitution. Shura Council Chairman Safwat elSherif urged members to file their proposals for the amendments. "President Mubarak wants the amendments to reflect national consensus and welcomes the views of political forces and civil society on the proposed amendments," el-Sherif said. The Council is to conclude debate on the amendments and approve them by Tuesday, when the People’s Assembly (lower house of parliament) is to debate and approve the amendments.

JORDAN'S King Abdullah II (R) during his meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Amman yesterday. – AFP
"We should consolidate this truce in order to be able to extend it to the West Bank where Israeli arrests and raids take place daily,” Erekat said. But Israeli government spokeswoman Miri Eisin denied that the talks would broach either a ceasefire extension, as long as the arrangement is not respected in the Gaza Strip, or peace negotiations.

Syria and Iran discuss military ties Kazakhstan President here today
DAMASCUS - The Syrian and Iranian defence ministers have met in Damascus to discuss boosting cooperation and ties between their "friendly armies," Reuters reported yesterday. Syria's Hassan Turkumani and his Iranian counterpart, Mostafa Mohamed Najjar, discussed "the latest situation in the region and the friendly relations and cooperation between their countries, their friendly armies and ways to boost and develop them," an official statement said. Mohamed Najjar arrived on Friday leading a delegation for a three-day visit to Syria, Tehran's staunch regional ally. KAZAKHSTAN President Nour Sultan Nizarbayev starts a three-day visit to Egypt today for talks with President Hosni Mubarak and Egyptian officials. Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif and Nizarbayev will tomorrow be attending

Mobile thief bumps into owner
ATHIEF of a mobile phone must have the shock of a lifetime when he tried to peddle the gadget to none but its owner. The thief had smashed a parked car in northern Sinai and stole an apparently swanky mobile phone, reported a local newspaper. On the following day, he walked into a store in the town of Al-Arish for a potential customer, who turned out to be the owner of the set, added Al-Ahram yesterday.

the signing of a number of agreements on bilateral economic cooperation. The agreements related to increasing trade exchange, preventing dual taxation and setting up an Egyptian-Kazakh business council.

Cairo slams US rights report
A SENIOR Egyptian official yesterday said that the report by the US State Department on human rights worldwide had been produced by an "irrelevant" organisation, reports Mohamed Ismail. The UN has not entrusted any country with the guardianship of human rights, Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit said. "The authors of the report do not know the real facts about human rights in some countries, including Egypt," Abul Gheit said in comments on claims quoted from the report by the media. "The sections on Egypt are based on inaccurate data," he added. "The report fails to mention the many recent positive developments in Egypt regarding human rights. "Egypt and the US agree on the degree of concern for human rights and disagreements on some aspects are bound to arise, but this does not affect [Egyptian-US] relations."

Iran sees no obstacles to Russia fuel delivery
TEHRAN - Tehran said yesterday that there are no obstacles to Russia delivering fuel for Iran's first nuclear power plant, although the Russian contractor signalled likely delays to the project. "There are no financial, legal or technical obstacles to delivering the fuel," AFP quoted Mohamad Saidi, deputy head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation, as saying.

Arabic made easy
Starting from tomorrow, The Egyptian Gazette will carry a weekly corner on the niceties of Egyptian colloquial. It will appear every Monday on Page 2.

Debt to Norway reduced by 76%
THE Norwegian Government has cancelled the equivalent of $25.8 million in Egypt's debts to Norway, official sources said yesterday. Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit commended the royal decree to reduce the debt by 76 per cent, the sources added. In comments on the debt reduction, a Norwegian official spoke of the distinguished relations between the two countries and Egypt’s vital regional and international roles.

SOCIALIST Party candidate for the 2007 presidential election Segolene Royal carrying a lamb as she visits the International Agriculture Fair in Paris, yesterday. – AFP (Feature on P.6)

Nominees reject calls for ‘Sadat Party’
Ashraf Sadek Staff reporter
EGYPT'S former First Lady Jihan elSadat has called for the creation of a political party named after her late husband, Anwar el-Sadat. However, the call has been rejected by political circles and the supporters of her husband, who was killed in a 1981 military parade by Muslim militants. Ms el-Sadat has nominated Mansour Hassan, a former Minister of Culture, and Abdul Moneim Saeid, head of the Al-Ahram Centre for Strategic Studies, to lead her proposed party. Mansour and Saeid have declined Ms el-Sadat’s offer and rejected the idea of a political party carrying elSadat’s name for a variety of reasons, a weekly magazine has reported. “There is no need to establish a political party to promote el-Sadat’s ideas and principles because they are still alive today,” Saeid told the weekly magazine Al-Musawwar. “El-Sadat’s economic and political visions like the free market economy, the multi-party system and the peace treaty with Israel are still alive in Egypt today,” Saeid argued. Egypt has espoused El-sadat’s ideas and applied them over the years, he said, adding that the idea of a political party after someone’s name to promote his/her own principles and ideologies is no longer valid today. “Parties are founded on well-established political and socio-economic ideologies and principles, but not on the personal ideas and views of the leaders,” he added. “The idea of naming a political party after a national leader could have been accepted under totalitarian regimes, but is not acceptable today,” he said.

Cairo..................................... 26 16 Alexandria ........................... 22 13 Matrouh ............................... 21 13 Hurghada ............................ 30 13 Sharm el-Sheikh .................31 17 Luxor ................................... 32 13 Aswan ............................33 15 (World weather on Page 4)

Ms Jihan el-Sadat

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