- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 2, 2000

Talks with the Vatican

Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright met with the Vatican's foreign minister yesterday to discuss the future of Jerusalem but came away with no new ideas for the issue that unraveled the Camp David summit.
Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran repeated the position of Pope John Paul II, who has called for Jerusalem to be declared an international city to protect holy places for Christians, Muslims and Jews.
The archbishop told Mrs. Albright the Vatican supports a "special statute, internationally guaranteed" for Jerusalem, according to press reports from Rome.
A State Department official, asked if the Vatican presented any new ideas on Jerusalem, told reporters that he would not "characterize" the meeting that way.
"She gave Archbishop Tauran the rundown on the discussions at Camp David … especially the subject of Jerusalem," he said.
"They had a full exchange of views," he added, refusing to give further details.
"Suffice it to say that everyone is interested in open access to holy sites and recognizes the importance of the holy sites."
The Vatican established diplomatic relations with Israel in 1994.
It signed a cooperation agreement with the Palestinians in February that called for Jerusalem to be declared an international city.
At a news conference with Italian Foreign Minister Lamberto Dini, Mrs. Albright said, "I think the major issues here are about control over the holy sites.
"The complication here is that Jerusalem is holy to three religions, and how to handle this, at the same time as issues of political sovereignty," she added.
"At Camp David, certainly the issue of internationalization was not the solution."
Mr. Dini congratulated President Clinton for convening the 15-day summit last month with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.
He called the summit "a most valiant effort."
Mr. Arafat demands Jerusalem be the capital of a Palestinian state, which he plans to declare next month. Israel insists the city is its "eternal and undivided" capital.

'Vanishing Borders'

There was a time when the U.S.-Canadian border was something to fight over.
OK. That was 156 years ago, and Canada was still part of the British Empire.
But the American battle cry of "54-40 or fight" resounded through the United States in 1844 when this country wanted to annex the Oregon territory, which extended well into what is today the Canadian province of British Colombia.
The border was settled at the 49th, not the 54th parallel, and today it is little more than a line on a map as Americans and Canadian move with relative ease into each other's country.
The Canadian Embassy is promoting a new book, "Vanishing Borders," that examines whether the border matters any more.
Canadian diplomat Terry Colli says the book, a collection of essays, "looks at Canada's evolving relationship with its most important hemispheric partner."
The book's editors, Fen Osler Hampson and Maureen Appel Molat, chose a cover photo of President Clinton opening the new U.S. Embassy in Ottawa last year.
"This was the only time a U.S. president had ever opened a U.S. embassy in a foreign capital," they wrote in an introduction.
They note that the United States and Canada are each other's largest trading partners, with more than $1 billion in commerce crossing the border each day.
"Canada's market of 30 million people purchases more from the U.S. than do the European Union's 300 million consumers," they wrote.
The North American Free Trade Agreement, many bilateral treaties and the increasing globalization of business have "reduced the significance of borders," they said.
However, other issues bring demands for tighter controls.
"There are more nefarious items crossing the border drugs, guns and illegal immigrants with the result that there is pressure to tighten border controls.
"Borders may be vanishing in some respects, but in other they are being erected," the editors wrote.

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