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The World Today

Diplomat to be queried on criticism

Associated Press / August 9, 2009

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Israel
JERUSALEM - Israel’s Foreign Ministry says it has summoned for consultation a senior Israeli diplomat who in a confidential memo criticized the government for harming ties with the United States. A ministry statement said yesterday that Israel’s consul general in Boston would arrive in Jerusalem next week to give a “clarification’’ to the ministry’s director general. It said Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman ordered the summons. Consul general Nadav Tamir wrote an internal memo that was leaked to Israel’s Channel 10 TV. It said Israel’s public clashes with Washington over the US demand for a settlement-construction freeze is causing “strategic damage to Israel’’ and undermining the special relationship between the two countries.

West Bank
Palestinian leader reelected president
BETHLEHEM - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was reelected to lead his Fatah movement yesterday at its first convention in two decades, giving him a new mandate for peace talks with Israel, if he can also heal divisions among his people. Abbas, who succeeded iconic Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat after his death in 2004, was elected unopposed, but the movement itself has lost its shine over the past five years. Its old guard has been accused of rampant corruption and nepotism, and it has suffered military humiliation at the hands of archrival Hamas. Addressing the conference yesterday, Abbas promised change. “This convention must be a new beginning for the Fatah movement,’’ he said. “In our history we’ve had many launches and setbacks. Sometimes we have reached the edge of the abyss - but we have always returned stronger.’’