Morning Report: February 8, 2005

Sabah: Support for woman president in Iraq. In the February 7 English edition, al-Sabah reports: 'In unprecedented, bold and democratic step, political and diplomatic sources expected that candidate of presidency for coming stage is a woman. Meanwhile, political sources confirmed that the real winner of elections is Iraqi people, who got rid of Saddam's hegemony and dictatorship. ... As-Sabah's ran a poll on choosing Iraqi woman for presidency position stemming from democratic concept in newborn Iraq. Nominations concentrated on three names: Naziha al- Duleimi , who occupied minister position for a first time in Iraqi history . She was within Iraqi government following events of 1958 . In the meantime, Safiya al- Siheel nominated herself for presidency position in the coming Iraqi government. She is now an Iraqi ambassador to Egypt. Son Col Jabook nominated herself for position of minister of defense in the interim government.' (Al-Sabah English)

Sharon, Abbas call truce. News media reported that Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon declared a truce at today's (Tuesday) summit at Sharm el-Sheik, Egypt: 'Abbas said: “We have agreed on halting all violent actions against Palestinians and Israelis wherever they are.” Sharon made a similar pledge: “Today, in my meeting with chairman Abbas, we agreed that all Palestinians will stop all acts of violence against all Israelis everywhere, and, at the same time, Israel will cease all its military activity against all Palestinians everywhere.”' Debka points out that Hamas has rejected the accord: 'Hamas leader Osama Hamada in Damascus: We are not bound by Sharm declarations.' (MSNBC, Debka)

Rice honors Holocaust dead, ignores Arafat's tomb. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visited Yad VaShem, Israel's memorial to the victims of the Nazi regime, but had no time in her busy Mideast tour to acknowledge the dead terrorist leader Yasser Arafat. Unlike many previous political figures, 'Condoleezza Rice made no acknowledgement of Yasser Arafat's grave when she met the Palestinian Authority leadership in Ramallah on Monday before concluding a whirlwind trip to Israel and the PA' according to the Jerusalem Post. However, as Arutz Sheva reports, Dr. Rice 'opened her Israel visit today with a tour of the Yad VaShem Holocaust Memorial.' She also called on Israel to make "hard decisions" in choosing its future course in its relations with the Palestinians. (JPost, Arutz7)