In advance of a widely anticipated US-led offensive on Iraqi insurgent stronghold Fallujah, Iraq's interim government declared Sunday a 60-day state of emergency to quell violence. In an Arabic statement translated by the Associated Press, the government noted insurgent groups' "persistent attempt to paralyze the state's activities" and hinder the implementation of democracy. Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi will announce in a news conference Monday how the emergency laws will be applied. Checkpoints, curfews, and the freezing of assets are some of the measures that may be employed.

Ivory Coast reluctantly admitted to pulling back its troops after weekend violence that marked the end of a cease-fire of more than one year. In retaliation for the government's surprise bombing of a French peacekeeping position Saturday, France destroyed its former colony's air force. Thousands of angry citizens, suspicious that France supports northern rebels opposed to the government, looted and set fires in Abidjan and Yamoussoukro Sunday.

Iran and the EU trio of Britain, France, and Germany reached a tentative agreement late Saturday that could avert UN sanctions on Tehran's controversial nuclear program. Iran agreed to suspend uranium enrichment until negotiations conclude over an EU incentives package that would help the country develop a peaceful nuclear energy program and resume stalled trade talks. The deal is awaiting approval from the countries' leaders.

As PLO President Yasser Arafat, lay critically ill in a French military hospital Sunday, where he was diagnosed with liver failure, Israel finalized preparations for his burial in the Gaza Strip. In their first decisive move since Arafat was airlifted Oct. 29, Palestinian leaders decided to carry out a plan approved in March to restore law and order in the West Bank and Gaza. Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia met Saturday with heads of Palestinian factions in an effort to ensure calm in the post-Arafat era.

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