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JORDAN



Published: Mon, June 4, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



The Jordan Times, Amman, May 27: As things stand now, the so-called "smart sanctions" resolution against Iraq, drafted by Britain and endorsed by the United States, might turn out to be more counterproductive than the 11-year-old embargo slapped on Baghdad after it invaded Kuwait in August 1990.

For not only are the terms of the ever-changing draft resolution unacceptable and unimplementable, they would also not work if the Security Council does not achieve consensus and if Iraq maintains its decision to reject the proposals and possibly halt its oil exports under a years-old deal worked with the U.N.

Global fears: Instead of engaging Iraq in a political process that would eventually come up with a clear system to accommodate global fears over its weapons of mass destruction and chart a clear path for an eventual lifting of the sanctions, both Britain and the U.S. are pushing Iraq and the whole region into a corner.

The whole world saw how U.N. Resolution 1248 failed because Iraq refused its terms, so why are the world's leading capitals repeating the same mistake and banking on Iraq's rejection?

ITALY

La Repubblica, Rome, May 29: France will never be a German "Lander," nor will it be a Massachusetts of Europe. France will remain France. Forget about the United States of Europe.

Lionel Jospin's "social Jacobism" remained hidden for months behind the smoke of electoral caution, but the pressure of public opinion finally broke the back of the reluctant French prime minister.

The first reaction would be to commiserate the death of the Franco-German axis. The indivisible atom of Europe has split. But the nuclear reaction set in motion might also give off energy instead of exploding a bomb.

The clarity of Jospin's rejection of Gerhard Schroeder's "federal" proposal for Europe should be welcome.

Revolutionary: Jospin's plan is itself revolutionary, espousing neither British skepticism nor Spanish nationalism. The federation of "nation-states" that Jospin dreams of would be in harmony with the French social welfare model and the idea of a collective management of the economy. It would be more, not less, European.

Now a new Italian policy on Europe needs to be formulated quickly. In a couple of weeks at NATO's Gothenburg summit, other European leaders will be anxious to hear newly elected Premier Silvio Berlusconi's opinion.

SOUTH AFRICA

The Star, Johannesburg, May 30: It is perhaps ironic that as planning moves into top gear for the World Conference Against Racism, which takes place in Durban from the end of August, there should be race riots in England.

We say ironic not because the United Kingdom is immune to xenophobia, but because Europeans do not hesitate to point fingers when such clashes take place elsewhere. In fact Britain is at loggerheads with Zimbabwe over that country's attempts at land redistribution.

Poverty: Now the United Kingdom has once again discovered that we are dealing with a "world" problem. The exact cause of the violence in Oldham has still to be identified, but reports indicate there was a combustible mix of poverty and racial intolerance.

Matters have been exacerbated by the fact that the issue of immigrants and asylum-seekers is featuring prominently ahead of the June 7 general election. However, Prime Minister Tony Blair believes that what was seen in Oldham "is not typical of the state of race relations in Britain today."

But, as they say, people living in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

SWEDEN

Aftonbladet, Stockholm, May 30: Natan Sharansky, Housing Minister in Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's rightist government, has now approved new settlements on occupied territory. According to Sharansky's decision, 710 new settlements will be built on the West Bank.

The decision goes against international law and the U.N. resolutions on Israel and Palestine. It shows that the current Israeli leaders prefer to provoke rather than softening the tense situation in the region.

Occupied territory: To the extent that the EU has what may be called a coherent policy on the Middle East, it should contain raised demands on the Sharon regime to abide by international law and immediately leave the occupied territories.

Both the Israelis and the Palestinians are responsible for the violent developments, are guilty of letting them accelerate and are obliged to do something to stop them. The will and the ability is unfortunately lacking on both sides, but most of all on the Israeli side.

That this is the case should be emphasized by EU president and (Sweden's) Prime Minister Goeran Persson when he meets with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in Copenhagen today (May 30) and with Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in Brussels next Wednesday.




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