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Homepage > The Spokesperson > Egyptian Press

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News Headlines


*Regional and International Affairs:

Political Headlines:


1.   Israel Braces for Border Clashes in Coming Days

2.   NATO Chief Sees End to Gaddafi's 'Reign of Terror'

3.   NKorea Threatens to Cut Off Hotline With SKorea

4.   Syria to End Nuclear Secrecy

5.   Cambodia-Thailand Border Dispute at UN Court

6.   US appoints Moscow ambassador

7.   Obama highlights Poland as model for a changing Middle East


*Prepared by;

Dalia Fahmy

*Regional and International Affairs:

Political Headlines:

1.   Israel Braces for Border Clashes in Coming Days

The Israeli military is preparing for the possibility of violent protests along its borders in the coming days, aiming to avoid a repeat of deadly unrest that erupted earlier this month, a senior military official told The Associated Press on Sunday.

Facebook-organized activists have called for demonstrations next weekend in Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan to mark the anniversary of the 1967 Mideast war, in which Israel captured the West Bank, Gaza Strip east Jerusalem and Golan Heights.

The official said the army also is planning to counter possible unrest in the West Bank in September after an expected U.N. vote to recognize Palestinian independence.

The official said the army hopes to avoid civilian casualties but would set "red lines" for the demonstrations. That means Israel will not allow demonstrators to burst across the borders during the coming week's protests — as they did on the Syria-Israel border on May 15 — or to enter Jewish settlements in the West Bank in September.

2.   NATO Chief Sees End to Gaddafi's 'Reign of Terror'

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's "reign of terror" is coming to an end, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Monday, ahead of a peace mission by South African President Jacob Zuma.

NATO warplanes have been raising the pace of their air strikes on Tripoli, with Gaddafi's Bab al-Aziziyah compound in the centre of the city being hit repeatedly.

Britain said on Sunday it was to add "bunker-busting" bombs to the arsenal its warplanes are using over Libya, a weapon it said would send a message to Gaddafi that it was time to quit.

"Our operation in Libya is achieving its objectives ... We have seriously degraded Gaddafi's ability to kill his own people," Rasmussen told a NATO forum in Varna, Bulgaria.

"Gaddafi's reign of terror is coming to an end. He is increasingly isolated at home and abroad. Even those closest to him are departing, defecting or deserting."

Britain and other NATO powers are racketing up their military intervention in Libya to try to break a deadlock that has seen Gaddafi hold on to power despite a rebel uprising against his four-decade rule and weeks of air strikes.

Gaddafi denies attacking civilians, saying his forces were obliged to act to contain armed criminal gangs and al Qaeda militants. He says the NATO intervention is an act of colonial aggression aimed at grabbing Libya's plentiful oil reserves.

3.   NKorea Threatens to Cut Off Hotline With SKorea

North Korea is threatening to cut off a military communication channel with South Korea and to stop engaging with its southern rival.

North Korea's powerful National Military Commission also said Monday that South Korea is escalating a confrontation with the North.

The statement says Pyongyang will cut off communications along the countries' eastern border and shut down a liaison office in a now-stalled joint tourism facility in the North. The statement doesn't mention other military hotlines.

It says the North will no longer deal with South Korea. Despite that threat, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il is reported to have recently offered to hold direct talks with South Korea's president.



4.   Syria to End Nuclear Secrecy

In a major turnaround, Syria is pledging full cooperation with U.N. attempts to probe strong evidence that it secretly built a reactor that could have been used to make nuclear arms, according to a confidential document shared with The Associated Press on Sunday.

If Syria fulfills its promise, the move would end three years of stonewalling by Damascus of the International Atomic Energy. Since 2008, the agency has tried in vain to follow up on strong evidence that a target bombed in 2007 by Israeli warplanes was a nearly built nuclear reactor that would have produced plutonium once active.

Syria's sudden readiness to cooperate seems to be an attempt at derailing U.S.-led attempts to have Damascus referred to the U.N. Security Council amid already strong international pressure on the Syrian leadership to end its crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators.

An IAEA report last week said the Vienna-based agency "assesses that the building destroyed ... was a nuclear reactor" — the finding sought by Washington and its allies to push to have Syria reported to the council by a 35-nation IAEA board meeting next month.

That, in turn, apparently triggered Syria's

5.   Cambodia-Thailand Border Dispute at UN Court

Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong has told the United Nations highest court that "murderous armed incursions" by the Thai military around a temple in a disputed border region are a "grave threat" to regional peace and security.

He made the claim Monday at the opening of hearings into Cambodia's request to the International Court of Justice to order Thailand to withdraw its troops from the disputed region around the 11th-century Preah Vihear temple, which was given U.N. World Heritage status over Thailand's objections.

Thai officials at the court refused to comment before entering the wood-panelled Great Hall of Justice. They were due to present their arguments to the 16-judge panel later Monday.

Thailand and Cambodia will face off at the United Nations' highest court Monday, in the latest move to settle a decades-old battle for control of a disputed border region that has erupted into deadly military clashes.

6.   US appoints Moscow ambassador

Michael McFaul, the architect of the Obama administration's policy of "resetting" US-Russian relations, will be the new American ambassador in Moscow.

The appointment of Barack Obama's chief adviser to a post normally filled by a diplomat is intended as a message to the Kremlin about the importance Washington puts on improving an often testy relationship.

McFaul has been a constant White House advocate of the need to pay close attention to Moscow's views to reduce friction in the UN security council and achieve further progress in arms control.

One of the diplomatic high points of the Obama administration so far, the new Start treaty with Russia on limiting long-range nuclear missiles, which entered into force in February, was largely a result of the White House's decision to "reset" bilateral relations,after years of poor relations. McFaul was one of the policy's leading proponents.

"It is our intention to build a multidimensional relationship with Russia, not simply one about arms control," McFaul said after a meeting on Friday between Obama and the Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev, during the G8 summit in Deauville in France. "The two presidents have pledged to that and particularly on economic relations, to try to expand the scope of things we do together."

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