World briefs 1/30/05

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Mexican, U.S. officials reconcile travel spat

MEXICO CITY -- The United States and Mexico sought to defuse their spat over a U.S. alert about drug-gang violence along the border, issuing a joint statement Saturday in which Washington said its announcement was not meant to keep Americans from traveling south of the border. U.S. ambassador Tony Garza insisted that the State Department announcement did not recommend that Americans avoid traveling to Mexico, but only that they take precautions in specific areas. Mexican officials said the alert was an exaggeration.

Israel, Palestinians look toward coming summit

TEL AVIV, Israel -- A Saturday meeting between Israel's defense minister and a top Palestinian security official went well, Israeli officials said, as the two sides try to reconcile widely differing expectations for an upcoming summit between Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz and Palestinian security official Mohammed Dahlan, a top adviser to Abbas, met late Saturday for talks focusing on security matters. Israeli officials described a "good positive atmosphere," and the two men would meet again in the coming days.

Riot by Sudan tribesmen leaves at least 14 dead

KHARTOUM, Sudan -- Police clashed with rioting tribesmen Saturday in the city of Port Sudan, leaving at least 14 people dead and 16 injured, a government official said. A tribal representative claimed 23 people were dead and 100 others were wounded. Riots involving Beja tribesmen broke out early Saturday in Port Sudan, Red Sea governor General Hatim al-Wasilah said. The casualties occurred when police tried to stop widespread looting and vandalism, al-Wasilah said. He said the situation was under control.

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