NEWS

Mandela takes day off because of slight illness

Former South African President Nelson Mandela was forced to cancel his engagements yesterday and spend the day resting because of what was described as «a minor stomach ailment.» On the advice of his doctor, who travels with him, Mandela skipped a ceremony at City Hall where Mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos was to award him the gold medal of the city. The 84-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner was expected to resume his schedule today, attending a lunch in his honor held by President Costis Stephanopoulos. «It’s a minor stomach ailment. There’s no sign of anything else or even food poisoning. It was a long day yesterday. He should be OK by tomorrow,» South African Ambassador Jannie Momberg said. «This will force him to rest a little.» It was not clear whether Mandela would continue with the private leg of his visit, a cruise of the islands, before his scheduled departure for South Africa on Wednesday. Leaving the Palestinians with no option, the Sharon government has fueled their despair and resentment. The Israelis realize, painfully, that they are not invulnerable to this confrontation. It’s time they proved they can break the vicious circle of violence. The solution is plain: Creating a Palestinian state would help control terrorist groups and cut the roots of terrorism.