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MIDDLE EAST

Lebanon's prime minister, Omar Karami, announced the resignation of his pro-Syrian Cabinet yesterday following nationwide riots and looting sparked by the nation's bad economic conditions.... An Iraqi newspaper said yesterday that courting Western companies with business deals was the best way to erode trade sanctions imposed by the UN. UNITED STATES

Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk, on a visit to the US, said the Crimean parliament's Tuesday declaration of independence from Ukraine was "not the final word on the matter." A radio report yesterday morning said Ukraine has now shipped all its strategic nuclear weapons to Russia, where they will be destroyed.... Western and Persian Gulf allies have paid almost all the money they promised to finance the $61.1 billion Gulf war, leaving $7.4 billion for the US to pay.... The International Monetary Fund approved membership for Azerbaijan Tuesday. EUROPE

The US said yesterday in Helsinki that Serbia should be excluded from all activities of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe. Austria and other countries also backed the proposal on grounds that Serbia is accused of promoting violence in the former Yugoslavia.... Polish Finance Minister Andrzej Olechowski resigned yesterday after parliament approved heavy spending by canceling two 1991 laws that reduced state pensions and froze the salaries of public employees.... Volvo and Renault, the S wedish and French carmakers, will merge before this summer, Swedish television reported.... NATO is considering a request from Albania to join a council that links the alliance with its former cold-war foes.

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