- The Washington Times - Friday, July 14, 2000

Lithuanian gratitude

The Lithuanian Embassy wants every American citizen to know how grateful Lithuania is for U.S. support during 60 years of occupation by the Soviet Union.
Embassy spokesman Rolandas Kacinskas announced this week that his country's parliament, the Seimas, issued a proclamation on Tuesday thanking "all presidents and Congresses elected during the last 60 years that have consistently defended democracy and human rights" in Lithuania.
The Lithuanian parliament expressed its "gratitude to all of those who supported us during the hard and tragic time for our state and extends best wishes for overall success to every American family, each citizen."
Washington refused to give diplomatic recognition to the Soviet takeover of Lithuania, as well as its Baltic neighbors, Estonia and Latvia. The Soviet Union invaded the Baltic nations at the beginning of World War II, lost them to the Nazis and then regained control after the war.
The United States continued to treat Baltic diplomats in Washington as the legal representatives of their countries. In 1990, Lithuania declared independence from the Soviet Union, which collapsed a year later.

Rebuilding Lebanon

The American ambassador to Lebanon says the United States is enthusiastic about helping to rebuild southern Lebanon now that Israel has ended its 22-year occupation of a security zone.
Ambassador David Satterfield told reporters in Beirut this week that the United States will participate in a donor conference July 27 to study redevelopment plans.
He has delivered a message from Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright to Lebanese Prime Minister Salim Hoss, endorsing the conference.
"We accept this invitation. We look forward to cooperating with the government of Lebanon, with the international donor community, with the World Bank and with the U.N. in working for a well-structured, well-coordinated program that will bring the assistance which south Lebanon needs so much," Mr. Satterfield said.
"I assured the prime minister that in addition to our commitment to working within the context of the planning process now under way, we will also be working to identify emergency assistance for south Lebanon, using funds which are available now.
"We hope to put this money in the south as rapidly as possible."

Trek from pole to pole

Canadian and Argentine diplomats are preparing to welcome an intrepid group of adventurers who will stop in Washington on Monday on route from the North to the South pole.
The eight young adults from eight countries, including the United States, have already traveled more than 6,000 miles since leaving the North Pole on April 5 on skis. They are traveling by bicycle on land and by kayaks over water, although their Web page (www.pole2pole2000.com) does not say how they will get from the tip of Argentina to Antarctica.
Peter Boehm, Canada's ambassador to the Organization of American States, and Juan Jose Arcuri, Argentina's OAS ambassador, will greet the team at their diplomatic missions. They plan to visit OAS headquarters at 17th Street and Constitution Avenue NW at 10 a.m.
In addition to the United States and Argentina, the team includes members from Britain, France, Japan, South Africa and South Korea.
The team says they have been chased by polar bears and have suffered saddle sores and blisters on the trek, but it is for a good cause, of course.
"In an effort to inspire millions of people to take positive action for a better world, Team 2000 has been carrying out humanitarian and environmental projects," the Canadian Embassy said.
Here they will take part in a project by Habitat for Humanity.

Clark joins CSIS

Retired Gen. Wesley Clark, who led the NATO assault on Serbian forces in Kosovo last year, has joined the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Gen. Clark, supreme allied commander in Europe from 1997 through May, will concentrate on international security issues at the center.
"Wes Clark combines extraordinary skill as a soldier and military strategist with vast experience in public policy and distinguished scholarship," said CSIS President John Hamre.

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