- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 24, 2000

Working with Nigeria

President Clinton's trip to Nigeria this weekend is designed to lay the groundwork for future democratic cooperation with a country that was under a military dictatorship two years ago.

Susan Rice, assistant secretary of state for African affairs, said Mr. Clinton and Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo hope to begin work on a broad agenda.

"The message of this trip is about what can the United States and Nigeria do together?" she told reporters this week.

"What can we do together as like-minded democracies that share common values? What can we do in Africa more broadly together?

"How can we work together to support increased trade and investment between our two countries? How can we work together to combat diseases like HIV-AIDS and malaria together? How can we work together to broaden and deepen the benefits of democracy for all the people of Nigeria?"

Nigeria has gone from an African pariah under the military dictatorship to the largest recipient of U.S. aid, Mrs. Rice said.

"It was a source of considerable regret to the president and to all of us in the administration that in 1998, under military rule, circumstances didn't permit not only the president to visit Nigeria," she said referring to Mr. Clinton's last African visit.

"We had in place sanctions, travel sanctions, a ban on any sort of military-to-military relationship, a presumption of denial of any positive consideration of Nigerian loans or credits in the international financial institutions."

Two years ago the United States provided $7 million in aid to humanitarian organizations but nothing to the government. This year, Washington is spending $109 million to help Nigeria fight disease and promote democracy, education, agriculture and transportation, and to reform the military.

"It's far and away the largest in sub-Saharan Africa, and it's one we look forward to sustaining and broadening," she said.

Mr. Clinton leaves for Nigeria tomorrow and will visit Tanzania on Monday.

Tatler sales up

The article by the daughter of the U.S. ambassador to Britain that criticized British boys boosted the sales of the high-society Tatler magazine.

The two-page opinion piece in the latest edition of the international publication also made Mary-Catherine Lader, 15, the "talk of Manhattan," Tatler editor Geordie Greig told the Associated Press in London yesterday.

Two weeks after the news of the article first broke, a dispute continues between Mr. Greig and Miss Lader's father, Ambassador Philip Lader.

He claims the magazine inserted an offensive word into her article without her permission. The U.S. Embassy released an angry letter from Mr. Lader to the Tatler, but Mr. Greig yesterday said the magazine has still not seen the letter.

Mr. Greig said the ambassador should be proud that his daughter's first magazine article has been "stunningly provocative."

"Newsstand sales are up 11 percent, which is terrific," he said. "I've just come back from the U.S., and she was very much the talk of Manhattan."

Mr. Lader, in his letter, said the article embarrassed his family.

"Extensive publicity attendant to the publication of this article has stemmed from, or been characterized by, language that was not in her submitted draft and actually was suggested by an adult editor," he wrote.

Mr. Greig defended his magazine, saying, "Every paragraph, every word, every sentence was checked off by her, and she was 100 percent happy with it."

Miss Lader said British boys are crude, rude, scrawny and badly dressed.

Indonesia short list

The Indonesian ambassador was on a short list of candidates for a top post in the Indonesian Cabinet, but he lost out yesterday to another economist.

Ambassador Dorodjatun Kuntjoro Jakti, a well-respected economist, was one of the two front-runners to head a new economic ministry being created by President Abdurrahman Wahid.

Mr. Wahid selected Rizal Ramli, head of the state commodities regulatory body.

In other appointments, he named Alwi Shihab as foreign minister and retired Lt. Gen. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono as coordinating minister for politics and security affairs.

The new Cabinet has 26 members, down from 35.

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