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News Briefs I

France Dashes Hopes of Coalition

Los Angeles Times
PARIS

French President Jacques Chirac Thursday rebuffed Secretary of State Warren Christopher's plea for help in enforcing the expanded "no-fly" zone in southern Iraq, dashing U.S. hopes of refurbishing the Persian Gulf War coalition.

In a statement issued by Chirac's office following the French president's hourlong meeting with Christopher, the French government said its warplanes will resume patrolling Iraqi airspace south of the 32nd parallel, the boundary of the "no-fly" zone before President Clinton enlarged it this week to Baghdad's southern suburbs. But it declined to patrol between the 32nd and 33rd parallel, the area that was added in what U.S. officials described as an effort to "humiliate" Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

Nevertheless, State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns said Christopher was pleased with the outcome of the meeting because France agreed not to pull out entirely from the coalition with Britain and the United States that has been enforcing two "no-fly" zones over Iraq since shortly after the 1991 Gulf War. Officials said the more drastic step had been under consideration.

U.S. Issues Warning After Second Encounter between Nato and Serbs

Los Angeles Times
SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina

Responding to a second violent encounter between NATO and Bosnian Serbs in less than a week, the American head of peacekeeping troops in Bosnia warned Thursday of "fatal consequences" if similar defiance is repeated.

In an unusually severe reprimand, U.S. Navy Adm. Joseph Lopez said an attack Wednesday on British troops by Bosnian Serb police and an accompanying mob in the Serb-held city of Banja Luka was "dangerous and irresponsible behavior" that would not be tolerated.

The confrontation was defused only when a British sergeant fired a warning shot into the air, NATO officials said.

"But our soldiers are not required to fire warning shots," Lopez said in a statement. "They don't have to fire over anyone's head or into the ground. They are trained and are authorized to shoot to kill in order to defend themselves and others The soldiers chose to fire a warning shot. The next time, the consequences could be fatal."

With Bosnia's nationwide elections just eight days away, tensions are on the rise, and international monitors fear an upsurge in violence. Relief workers report new ethnic-based evictions, and groups of Muslims attempting to return to their Serb-captured homes have been attacked or firebombed.

Netanyahu Defends Arafat Meeting Against Likud Claim of Betrayal

Los Angeles Times
TEL AVIV, Israel

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defended his brief handshake with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat before the bitterly divided rank-and-file of his Likud party Thursday night, and warned that dissenters have no place in his conservative government.

Hundreds of Likud faithful rose to their feet and cheered as Netanyahu arrived at a party central committee meeting a day after reluctantly accepting Arafat as a partner in peacemaking. The other half booed, claimed betrayal and stayed angrily seated in front of their party chief and prime minister.

One woman remained standing but with an open umbrella - a protest meant to recall British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's fateful meeting with Adolf Hitler before World War II.

In speeches, Likud member of parliament Uzi Landau accused Netanyahu of buckling under international pressure, and Science Minister Benjamin Begin called the Arafat meeting "a severe defeat." Infrastructure Minister Ariel Sharon warned Netanyahu that governments can be replaced, but not the Jewish holy sites.

"The meeting yesterday was not easy, but leaders are elected for tough hours," Netanyahu told the Likud crowd. "We said that we would implement the existing (peace) agreements on the condition that the other side does. We said we would talk to the other side without conditions. Those who argue with this now shouldn't have joined the coalition or the government."

Copyright 19,95, The Tech. All rights reserved.
This story was published on 9/6/96.
Volume 116, Number 39.
This story appeared on page 2.

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