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MIDDLE EASTPro-Iranian kidnappers say the release of hostage Edward Tracy, the third to be freed in four days, would not be followed by another before Israel makes positive moves in reply. The kidnappers demand the release of hundreds of Palestinians and Lebanese held by Israel and its surrogate Lebanese militia. Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir said Sunday Israel would be prepared to discuss freeing Arab prisoners in an all-around swap once it received information on the fate of seven of its soldiers missing in Leban on. In Geneva, Israel's top hostage negotiator met UN Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar Sunday to discuss the hostage deals, two hours after Perez de Cuellar arrived from London with a letter from Islamic Jihad, one of the main Lebanese groups holding Western hostages.... US President Bush, who has said the peace process is linked to freeing hostages, praised Syria and Iran for their roles in the release of hostages and suggested Israel free "innocents" held for political purposes.... A young Palest inian actor and playwright will be forced to stay behind when a play he wrote about his detention in an Israeli prison camp tours the world in September. The actor, Nidal Khatib, who lives in the West Bank village of Dura, has never been charged with illegal activity. But Israeli military authorities refused permission for him to travel unless he agreed to remain outside the country for three years, Khatib's Israeli lawyer, Leah Tsemel, said Sunday. ASIA AND THE PACIFIC North Korea said yesterday it was postponing indefinitely talks with South Korea about sending a joint team to the Olympics until Seoul repatriates a Northern athlete who defected to the South.... Afghan rebels freed a Soviet prisoner of war yesterday in exchange for 25 mujahideen guerrillas.... Japan Aviation Electronics Industry, a subsidiary of NEC Corporation suspected of illegally exporting missile parts to Iran between 1980 and 1988, may be dropped by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries from the FSX jet fi ghter project.... Japanese Premier Toshiki Kaifu, on a visit to China, said Tokyo examined arms sales by developing countries and their human rights record when deciding on foreign aid.

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