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 UN opens office in Erbil Kurdistan- Media monitor

 Source : IWPR - Press monitor
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UN opens office in Erbil Kurdistan- Media monitor 9.12.2005
Press from 8.Dec.2005


UN Opens Office in Erbil (Al-Mada)
The Kurdistan government representative at the United Nations, Dendar Zeebari, said the UN will open its biggest office in the Middle East in Erbil. He said the United States embassy will also open a consulate in the Kurdistan region. He emphasised the (importance of) the missions of Kurdish diplomats and the necessity of developing relations between the UN and the Kurdistan region. Zeebari made the announcement during a symposium at Erbil University.
(Al-Mada is issued daily by Al-Mada institution for Media, Culture, and Arts.)

Suicide Attack in Coffee Shop
(Tareek al-Shaab)
A suicide bomber strapped with explosives blew himself up in a coffee shop in al-Zafaraniya neighbourhood. The bomber killed or wounded 23 people, including four police officers. An interior ministry source said the victims were sent to al-Kindi hospital for treatment. He added that initial reports indicated the attack was caused by a roadside bomb, but police determined it was a suicide attack after investigating the scene.
(Tareek al-Shaab is issued by the Iraqi Communist Party.)

Borders with Syria Closed
(Asharq Al-Awsat)
In a declaration issued on (December 7), the Iraqi government announced it will close its borders with Syria. Martial law was also declared in Ramadi and Nineweh provinces (which border Syria) for the next thirty days. The ministerial council issued the martial law order in accordance with defending national security. Commercial vehicles authorised by the Iraqi government to enter Iraq from Syria will be allowed to cross the border. The declaration added that those who encourage or carry out acts of violence will be sentenced under the new anti-terrorism law. The measures were taken ahead of the December 15 parliamentary elections.
(London-based Asharq al-Awsat, a pro-Saudi independent paper, is issued daily.)

Former Defence Minister Returns to Iraq
(Al-Sabah al-Jadeed)
Former defence minister Hazim al-Shalan returned to Iraq and met with the president of Kurdistan region's Erbil administration, Masood Barzani, who praised his struggle against Saddam Hussein's former regime. Barzani talked with Shalan about campaign issues and praised his role in running the defence ministry. Shalan said Barzani was "brave" for rejecting allegations levelled against Shalan. He has been accused of corruption and working with Saddam’s intelligence. In the national assembly, the Kurdistan alliance has rejected the United Iraqi Alliance's demand that Shalan's immunity be lifted.
(Al-Sabah al-Jadeed is an independent daily paper.)

Muslim Scholar Association Criticises Political Bodies
Association of Muslims Scholars spokesman Abdul Salam al-Kubaisi criticised political organisations that call for the continued presence of foreign forces in Iraq under the guise of building security forces. He said the presence of foreign forces (contributes to) violence. He said the killings and arrests in Haditha, Tal Afar, Basra, Samarra and Najaf are consequences of the presence of foreign forces on Iraqi soil. Kubaisi affirmed that the aggressive acts conducted by US forces will not stop them from resisting American plans and fighting the occupation.
(Al-Mashriq is published daily by Al-Mashriq Institution for Media and Cultural Investments.)   


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