US Promotes A Cease-Fire In Azerbaijan

THE United States on Aug. 30 pushed for the former Soviet republic of Azerbaijan to accept a temporary cease-fire plan in its war with Armenia, a day after a no-confidence referendum was held on the country's fugitive president.

Washington still considers Abulfaz Elchibey the legal president of Azerbaijan, State Department spokesman Michael McCurry said, even though Mr. Elchibey fled the capital city of Baku last June.

Azeris flocked to the polls Aug. 29, and early returns showed more than 90 percent voted against Elchibey. The vote was seen as formally removing Elchibey from power after an armed rebellion in June.

Critics blame Elchibey for Azerbaijani defeats in the undeclared war against Armenia over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.

The vote paves the way for new presidential elections, which former Communist leader Geidar Aliyev said would take place within three months, as stipulated in Azerbaijan's Constitution. Mr. Aliyev has stood as acting president since June.

Mr. McCurry said the US is pres-sing Azerbaijan to accept a proposal for a temporary cease-fire, withdrawal from recently occupied territories, deployment of international monitors, and resumption of negotiations. German admits Iraqi deals

A German businessman admitted in court on Aug. 30 that he sold illegal rocket technology to Iraq before the 1991 Gulf war.

``The charges are basically true,'' Walter Dittel, former managing director of the Rhein-Bayern company, told a court in the city of Augsburg.

Mr. Dittel spoke on the opening day of his trial after prosecutors charged him and two colleagues with violating German export laws and a United Nations embargo against Iraq.

The reports surfaced after a multinational force led by the United States drove Iraq's troops out of Kuwait in 1991. The reports prompted Bonn last year to tighten export laws already restricted after German firms were revealed in 1989 to have helped Libya build a plant that the US claimed was meant to produce chemical weapons.

Rhein-Bayern's executives are accused of selling technology that helped Iraq boost the range of Soviet-made Scud missiles fired at Israel and Arab Gulf states in the Gulf war. They are also accused of exporting equipment for Styx sea-launched rockets.

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