NEWS

In Brief

MIDDLE EAST

EU presidency backs Bush’s pledge to implement ‘road map’ for peace The Foreign Ministry yesterday expressed the support of Greece’s European Union presidency for Friday’s pledge by US President George W. Bush to implement a «road map» for peace in the Middle East which foresees the creation of separate Israeli and Palestinian states by 2005. Bush’s statement «is a positive step towards reactivating the Middle East peace process… and boosts the role of the ‘quartet’ (the EU, Russia, the UN and the USA), which now must take concrete action immediately,» spokesman Panos Beglitis said in yesterday’s statement. BANK BLAST Firebomb damages ATM in Kypseli A firebomb damaged an automatic teller machine outside a Commercial Bank branch yesterday, causing damage, but no injuries, police said. The bank branch is located in the central Athens district of Kypseli, police said. There was no claim of responsibility. (AP) Migrants detained Leros Port Authority officials yesterday detained nine illegal immigrants after being alerted to their presence on the nearby islet of Farmakonisi, the Merchant Marine Ministry said. The migrants, who were from Sudan and Ethiopia, said they had reached the islet by sailing boat from neighboring Turkish shores. Rescue service The army on Saturday sent a military helicopter to transport a pregnant woman from Paros to Syros, in the Cyclades. The transfer was undertaken following a request by the National First Aid Center (EKAB) which had been conducting rescue services until the fatal crash of one of its air ambulances in February – the third in two years. A state body called the Air Transport Utilities Command (DAYKO), which is to allocate helicopters for rescue missions, is to start operating soon, Defense Minister Yiannos Papantoniou said at the end of last month.