News Currents

WAR IN THE GULF Iraq has accepted all 12 UN resolutions adopted since its invasion of Kuwait without conditions, Western diplomats at the UN said early Thursday. The diplomats said Iraq's willingness to comply had been communicated to Moscow and Washington before President Bush announced a temporary suspension of allied combat operations Wednesday evening and was one factor in the timing of his speech. Bush, however, who declared victory in the war, also demanded that Iraq release all its prisoners, including tho usands of Kuwaiti civilians taken hostage by Iraqi troops Tuesday. The UN Security Council has asked Iraq to give a schedule for the repatriation of these captives. The White House said Wednesday night that Secretary of State James Baker would go to the Middle East next week to begin preparing for post-war peace.

AFRICA

Liberian rebel leader Charles Taylor and the country's interim president, Amos Sawyer, have met for the first time for talks in Lome, official sources said Thursday, and they reportedly promised to work together for peace.... South Africa's ``grand apartheid'' policy, which has sought to strip blacks of citizenship by pooling them in tribal areas, appeared to begin crumbling when Brig. Oupa Gqozo, military ruler oe the Ciskei territory, and South African Foreign Minister Roelof (Pik) Botha signed an agr eement Wednesday stating Pretoria would appoint ministers to key Ciskei portfolios.

ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

The Bangladesh National Party surged ahead of the rival Awami League Thursday as counting continued in parliamentary elections that many hoped would bring popular government to Bangladesh.... A majority of the Philippines' 23 senators oppose a government proposal to let US military bases remain in the country for seven more years, Senate President Jovito Salonga said Thursday. The senate must approve by a two-thirds vote a new treaty allowing a continued US military presence.... Thais are growing suspic ious that the army junta which seized control of the country in a bloodless coup may go back on its promise to relinquish power within six months, politicians and senior officials said Thursday. The country's king has rejected an interim constitution proposed by the military junta that seized power last weekend.... China's communists, who weaned themselves from Soviet aid and influence during an ideological row in the 1950s and 1960s, has offered ``commodity loans'' to Moscow to help prop up the moribund So viet economy.

LOOKING AHEAD

On Sunday: First contested presidential election in West African state of Sao Tome and Principe after 15 years of one-party rule. Monday: British Prime Minister John Major pays two-day visit to Moscow, his first since he took office. Friday, March 8: Policy convention of ruling Quebec Liberal Party in Montreal to consider demands for greater freedom for province.

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