Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

North Africa

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

North Africa

Article excerpt

Chechen Rebels Condemned

A Sept. 5 Associated Press article reported that heads of state from Egypt, Lebanon and Kuwait denounced the seizure of a Russian school by separatist Chechen rebels. The expressions of sympathy to the Russian people and their leaders were a response to the hostage situation that had begun two days earlier, when militants demanding independence for Chechnya stormed a school in southern Russia. During a meeting with Russia's visiting foreign minister in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak asked Russian envoy Sergey Lavrov to convey a message of sympathy to his people. Lebanese President Emile Lahoud sent a message of condolence to Russian President Vladimir Putin, while Kuwait's Prime Minister Shaikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah sent similar sentiments. Meanwhile, the AP reported, Egypt's top Muslim scholar, Grand Sheikh Mohammed Sayed Tantawi of Al-Azhar University, denounced the kidnappings of foreigners and children in both Russia and Iraq as "criminal acts."

Egypt Trains Iraqi Officers

On Aug. 21, more than 250 Iraqi security officers began training at Cairo's police academy as part of Egypt's role in rehabilitating the Iraqi security apparatus, an Interior Ministry told the Khaleej Times in an article published the next day. Though Egypt has said it would not send troops to Iraq, it is willing to help rebuild the Iraqi security forces. Jordan has taken similar measures, training more than 4,000 Iraqi army and police cadets so far this year. …

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