Radical Azeri Group Questions Future of Ties with Russia

(Combined Sources)–The radical Karabagh Liberation Organization (KLO) warned that the transfer of military weapons from Georgia to Armenia poses a serious threat to Azerbaijan’s security.

Through a statement–the KLO said that Russia is facilitating "Armenia’s policy of aggression," describing the decision as "inconsistent" for Russia as "a co-chair of the OSCE’s Minsk Group."

"Azeri authorities must reexamine their relations with Russia," it advised–and threatened to cut off relations with Russia–in case of assuming power in upcoming elections in Azerbaijan. "We would work toward getting rid of a [Minsk Group] Russian co-chairmanship–and severing even diplomatic ties with Russia."

The pull-out–which as already begun–follows a May 30 agreement between Georgia and Russia to remove two Russian bases by 2008. One base is in Akhalkalak near the Armenian border–the other in Batumi (Adjaria).

Russia–which has been under pressure to remove its military bases from Georgia–had earlier explained that its redeployment of weaponry to Armenia would speed up its military withdrawal. Despite Russian assurances that the move would not destabilize the region–Azerbaijan has remained strongly critical of the relocation.

Thousands of Israeli Tourists under Terror Threat in Turkey

(Globes/Jerusalem Post)–Israel’s National Security Council’s counterterrorism unit issued a travel warning Monday urging citizens to refrain from visiting the popular southern coast of Turkey–between Alanya and Kemer–due to a "concrete terrorist threat." The strip includes the city of Antalya–a favorite destination for Israeli tourists. Israeli officials estimated there are presently thousands of Israelis in the area.

The travel advisory comes just three days after Transportation Minister Meir Sheetrit ordered four cruise ships with some 3,500 vacationers heading to Alanya to change course and dock in Cyprus because of terror warnings. He diverted another cruise ship on Monday.

Ambassador to Turkey Pinhas Avivi told The Jerusalem Post he would recommend that Israelis in the area covered by the warning spend their vacation in other parts of the country such as the Aegean Coast–the Black Sea–or Central Turkey.

The warning read: "In light of the revelations regarding serious concrete terrorist threats at coastal sites in Turkey–the National Security Council counterterrorism HQ hereby issues a temporary travel warning–which is likely to be short–until the threats are lifted. Until such time–all Israeli citizens are warned to avoid visiting or staying in the coastal strip in southern Turkey between Alanya and Kemer. Recommendations against staying close to Turkey’s borders with Iran and Iraq remain in force. Israelis are likewise called on to be alert and maintain the recommended rules of behavior throughout Turkey."

In response to a question whether the intelligence urging Israeli ships and citizens not to go to the Turkish Riviera came from Turkish sources–government spokesman Cemil Cicek declined to comment–saying that both countries have been in close contact for a long time–exchanging intelligence–especially on terrorism.

Despite warnings–80percent of Israeli tourists have not changed their plans–and will visit Kemer and Antalya. 20 percent of tourists sought to change their destination to Bodrum–which lies outside the area of the warning–or to other sites in Cyprus or Bulgaria. Very few tried to cancel their vacations at the risk of paying full cancellation fees.

Those seeking to change their travel destinations will also have to pay fully for the change–even though the change is due to security reasons 3,000 Israelis a day visit Turkish vacation areas–particularly Antalya–on thirteen daily flights. 350,000 Israeli tourists visit Turkey annually–some of whom are making repeat visits to the country.


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