Saturday, November 17, 2007


* Palestinians seek pre-conference settlement freeze The Palestinians have told the United States they will accept nothing less than a total freeze in Jewish settlement building.

* US seeks to end Pakistan crisis A senior US envoy has met President Pervez Musharraf to discuss Pakistan's deepening political crisis.

* Rice rules out visit to the region before Annapolis conference U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice won't return to the region before the Mideast peace conference at the end of the month in Annapolis, Maryland.

* Abbas 'pessimistic' about Annapolis Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas voiced pessimism about the prospects of the upcoming US-led peace conference.

* 'Vatican-Israeli ties worsening' A senior Vatican diplomat who served as papal envoy to Israel has described Vatican-Israeli relations as worsening.

* Saudi minister warns of dollar collapse The dollar could collapse if Opec officially admits considering changing the pricing of oil into alternative currencies such as the euro.

* Russia readies nuclear fuel bound for Iran Russia on Friday gave the clearest indication yet that it was ready to send uranium to fuel Iran's first atomic power station.

* Ahmadinejad: OPEC being pressured Iran's president said Saturday that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is "under heavy economic and political pressures".

* EU must improve military capabilities, UK says UK foreign secretary David Miliband called for a strengthening of the EU's military capacities.

* 'Israel is destroying Muslim artifacts' The Turkish envoy that visited Jerusalem in March to inspect the excavations at the Mughrabi Gate outside of the Temple Mount has concluded that the work is destroying artifacts from different Muslim historical periods.

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