Renewed dialogue on security issues between Israel and the Palestinians could begin as soon as next Monday, Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer said. Both sides maintain such talks do not constitute peace negotiations, but Ben-Eliezer said they might at least "bring stability." In another development, Israel said it would release another $14 million in frozen tax receipts to the Palestinian Authority to help ease the plight of the 700,000 people under curfew in the West Bank.

The two most powerful parties to the long and atrocity-filled civil war in Congo are to sign a peace deal Tuesday that analysts say is "big step in the right direction." It calls for the president of Congo to disarm and arrest the Rwandan Hutus who fight for him, while Rwanda's leader promises to bring home the 40,000 troops who fight the Hutus in an effort to protect their country's eastern border. Roughly 2 million people have died in the four-year conflict.

The communist regime of North Korea is ready for "constructive dialogue" with the US on the entire range of problems on the divided peninsula, a senior diplomat said. In rival South Korea after visiting the North, Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov hinted of a North Korean-US meeting later this week at the conference of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Brunei. Relations with the US have deteriorated since last January, when President Bush included North Korea in his "axis of evil."

For the second Monday in a row, members of parliament in Turkey were to take up the matter of endorsing an early election to try to end the nation's political turmoil. Last week's effort failed when too few legislators were willing to return for an emergency session. Parliament's OK is hoped for by Wednesday, although Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit again was leading the opposition to a Nov. 3 vote because "the negative effects this will have on the country are visible on the horizon."

Intensive campaigning for the Sept. 22 election in Germany will be moved up three weeks, Chancellor Gerhard Schröder's aides said, as a new opinion poll showed his Social Democratic Party falling another point in popularity since July 1. The survey gave the SDP 36 points, to 41 for the conservative rival Christian Union. Schröder personally dropped six points in the same poll but still leads challenger Edmund Stoiber by 48 percent to 41 percent.

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