Tue, Mar 22, 2011 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

BAHRAIN

King says foreign plot foiled

King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa said in Manama that a foreign plot against his kingdom had been foiled and he thanked troops brought in from neighboring countries that helped end increasing unrest after weeks of protests. King Hamad told the forces that if such a plot succeeded in one Gulf Arab country, it could spill into neighboring states, the state news agency BNA said. The ferocity of a crackdown last week by forces, aided by the entrance of troops from Sunni-ruled Gulf countries, stunned the country’s majority Shiites, the main force of the protests, and angered the region’s Shiite power Iran.

IRAN

Bahraini diplomat expelled

Tehran on Sunday asked a Bahraini diplomat to leave the country in reprisal for the expulsion of one of the Islamic republic’s diplomats from Manama, the official IRNA news agency reported. Tehran on Wednesday recalled its ambassador from Bahrain “in protest at the killing of the people of Bahrain by its government,” a day after Manama recalled its ambassador from Tehran, citing the country’s “blatant interference” in its affairs. Tehran said Manama had made a “strategic mistake” in asking Gulf troops to help quell pro--democracy protests in the tiny kingdom. Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi told the official IRNA news agency that Sunni Muslim-ruled, but Shiite-majority Bahrain had committed a “strategic and political” blunder that would cost its “legitimacy.” At least three people died on Wednesday when security forces firing tear gas and shotguns assaulted a month-old pro-democracy camp in the central Pearl Square roundabout of the Bahraini capital.

MAURITANIA

AU urges end to Libya action

The African Union’s (AU) panel on Libya in Nouakchott on Sunday called for an “immediate stop” to all attacks after the US, France and Britain launched military action against Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi’s forces. After a more than four-hour meeting in the capital, the body also asked Libyan authorities to ensure “humanitarian aid to those in need,” as well as the “protection of foreigners, including African expatriates living in Libya.” It underscored the need for “necessary political reforms to eliminate the causes of the present crisis.” Libyan generosity and Qaddafi’s role in the creation of the AU could explain the cautious stand, experts said. The AU was born in the 1999 Sirte Declaration, named after a summit hosted by Qaddafi in his hometown on the Libyan coast. The declaration said its authors felt inspired by Qaddafi’s “vision for a strong and united Africa.”

TURKEY

Turkey to contribute in Libya

Ankara said it was ready to contribute to international action in Libya as Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday he hoped military operations would be over “as quickly as possible.” A ministry spokesman refused to provide more details when contacted by reporters, but denied that Ankara had already ruled out participating in military operations. Meanwhile, Erdogan said he hoped long-term military action would not be necessary. “If only Libya had launched a process of change, like Tunisia and Egypt, it would not have to pay this price. Unfortunately this isn’t the case, we have arrived at a situation that we did not want,” Erdogan said during a conference in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, the Anatolia news agency reported.

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