Russian President Vladimir Putin has emphasized that all nations bordering the Caspian Sea should not allow their territory to be used for an attack on another regional state. Speaking at the Tehran summit of the Caspian Sea states today (Tuesday), Mr. Putin also called on all five nations around the inland sea to make a commitment to prohibit outside interference into the affairs of the region. The summit brought together the heads of state of Iran, Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. The Russian president did not name any country, but his speech underscored Russia's strong opposition to U.S.-backed efforts to build a pipeline through Azerbaijan to deliver Caspian Sea resources to the West.
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visits Egypt today (Tuesday) amid stepped up efforts to narrow the gap between Israel and the Palestinians ahead of a Mideast peace conference planned for next month. Rice will hold talks with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who in the past mediated conflicts between Israel and the Palestinians, as well as between Palestinian factions. On Monday, Rice said the U.S. understands the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not simply political, but also affects the daily lives of ordinary Israelis and Palestinians.
U.S TIBET-CHINA: President Bush is scheduled to meet today (Tuesday) with the Dalai Lama at the White House, despite warnings from Beijing that the meeting will seriously damage relations between the United States and China. China's Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said today his country has expressed its "resolute opposition" to the meeting and urged Washington to cancel the talks. Yang said China also asked the U.S. Congress to not give Tibet's exiled spiritual leader its highest civilian award, the Congressional Gold Medal. The medal is to be presented Wednesday at a ceremony attended by Mr. Bush.
an's President Chen Shui-bian has rejected an offer from China to enter into peace talks, saying the island would never sign an agreement based on Beijing's "one-China" principle. Speaking with reporters today (Tuesday), Mr. Chen said such a pre-condition for talks would mean Taiwan would have to accept that it is a part of China. He said such an accord would be a surrender agreement, not a peace agreement. On Monday, China's President Hu Jintao called for peace talks during his opening address at a major Communist Party Congress, but only under the "one-China" principle.
BURMA: Japan has canceled nearly five million dollars in aid to Burma over the military government's crackdown that resulted in the shooting death of a Japanese journalist. Japan's Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura said Tuesday that the move reflected the present situation in Burma and last week's U.N. Security's Council's statement criticizing the crackdown. Japanese video journalist Kenji Nagai was killed September 27th while filming the crackdown on protesters in Rangoon
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