News Currents

MIDDLE EASTIn Damascus, American hostage Joseph Cicippio was handed over to the US ambassador to Syria yesterday. Cicippio, who had been held captive for 5 1/2 years, was freed in Lebanon earlier in the day. A Syrian spokesman said the remaining two American hostages, Alann Steen and Terry Anderson, would be freed within the week.... Israel's chief hostage negotiator yesterday said Israel would free pro-Iranian Muslim cleric Sheikh Abdel Karim Obeid if all Israeli prisoners of war and missing persons in Lebanon wer e accounted for.... While Syria's delegation to Arab-Israeli peace talks left for Washington yesterday, Israel's Cabinet continued to back Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir's plan to stay away from the summit until Dec. 9. Jordan's King Hussein said his country would continue with the Middle East peace process regardless of Muslim fundamentalist opposition at home. The Palestinian delegation to the conference postponed indefinitely its trip to Washington in protest of the United States decision to deny entry vi sas to some of its advisers. KENYA In Nairobi, leaders of Kenya's ruling party, the Kenya African National Union (KANU), decided at a meeting yesterday to allow multiparty politics in the East African country, senior party sources said. The decision, which comes amid heavy pressure on President Daniel arap Moi for political reform, was expected to be put to a meeting of national delegates today. Kenya, a former British colony, has been an official one-party state since a constitutional amendment was passed by parliament in 1982 outlawing opposition. But KANU has enjoyed a monopoly on power since independence in 1963. ASIA AND THE PACIFIC Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday said he would allow United Nations protection for Khmer Rouge leader Khieu Samphan, who was injured in a mob attack in Phnom Penh last week. The Khmer Rouge demanded that 800 more UN peacekeeping soldiers be deployed immediately in Phnom Penh or its leaders could not return there to participate in the Cambodian peace process (see story, Page 3).... In Tokyo, China's vice premier, Tian Jiyun, met the new Japanese government and sought more economic aid. Meanwhile , in Beijing, China's minister of agriculture called for efforts to ensure that food production meets the needs of a population growing by an average 15 million people a year. EUROPE AND SOVIET UNION In Belgrade, UN special envoy Cyrus Vance met with federal Defense Minister Veljko Kadijevic and later with Slobodan Milosevic, the communist president of Serbia. Vance was in Yugoslavia pursuing a plan to deploy UN peacekeeping forces.... Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev Sunday ran unopposed in the Soviet republic's first free election.

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