ASIA India Begins Withdrawal NEW DELHI -- India has begun withdrawing its troops from the border with Pakistan, Defense Minister George Fernandes said yesterday.

"The process has started," Fernandes said of New Delhi's announcement earlier this month that it would recall tens of thousands of soldiers from the border to ease tension in the region. He said their relocation would be completed in two months.

India and Pakistan had deployed more than 1 million soldiers along their frontier after a Dec. 13 attack on the grounds of the Indian Parliament.

Associated Press Terror Designation Backed JAKARTA, Indonesia -- The Indonesian government said it would support efforts to have the United Nations add to its terrorist list Jemaah Islamiah, a Southeast Asian Islamic militant network suspected in the Oct. 12 bombing of a Bali nightclub district.

"If that is accepted, and the United Nations declares Jemaah Islamiah a terrorist group, we will fully implement that declaration," Foreign Ministry spokesman Marty Natalegawa said.

Such a move would mean a "freeze without delay of any funds or financial assets owned by that organization" as well as impeding the ability of members to move across borders, he said. "This is consistent with the Indonesian attitude that fighting terrorism must be done through the U.N."

Meanwhile, police this week arrested two Indonesians in the bombing of the Philippine Consulate in Manado in north Sulawesi island, an attack that occurred the same evening as the Bali bomb blasts.

A police official said that no link has yet been established between the explosions.

Ellen NakashimaTHE MIDDLE EAST Libya Seeks Exit From Group CAIRO -- Oil-rich Libya, whose leader once said he was "ashamed" of Arab policy in the Middle East, asked to withdraw from the 22-member Arab League, an Arab League spokesman said.

No reason was immediately given for the decision. But Libya's leader, Moammar Gaddafi, in September called on Libyans to quit the pan-Arab body to protest against what he called "official Arab cowardice" toward Israel and the United States.

Arab League spokesman Hisham Youssef said the league's secretary general, Amr Moussa, had contacted senior officials in Libya. "We hope we can change Libya's mind," Youssef said.


The attack on a French oil tanker off Yemen this month was similar to the October 2000 bombing of the USS Cole and might have been carried out by the same group, Yemen's prime minister said. . . . Citizens in Bahrain voted peacefully for their first parliament in nearly 30 years despite an opposition boycott that had overshadowed the prospects for the historic poll.