- The Washington Times - Monday, May 1, 2000

Furey's fury

Thomas Furey, a career diplomat, has withdrawn his nomination to be ambassador to Nepal, citing a "maliciously hurtful" media campaign that portrayed him as a racist for adopting and then returning a Nepali infant in the 1980s.

The State Department formally notified the South Asian kingdom last week.

"The U.S. State Department has informed His Majesty's government about the withdrawal of Thomas Furey's nomination as the U.S. ambassador," a Nepali Foreign Ministry official told Agence France-Presse.

"In its letter received by the Foreign Ministry on 25 April, the State Department is said to have expressed full faith in Furey's integrity but charged the press has been malicious against him," the official added.

The press reports were "inaccurate, unfair and maliciously hurtful to me and my family," Mr. Furey wrote in a letter to the editor of the Katmandu Post last week.

Mr. Furey and his wife adopted the Nepali infant when he was stationed in Nepal as a junior officer at the U.S. Embassy in the 1980s. They returned the child after deciding they were not ready to adopt an infant, Mr. Furey said.

Trade bill progress

The African diplomatic corps is waiting anxiously for Congress to resume work on a major trade bill that would lift tariffs on textile goods from the 48 countries of sub-Saharan Africa.

Ambassador Roble Olhaye of Djibouti says the African diplomats appreciate the "breakthrough" in negotiations between House and Senate conferees earlier this month that produced a compromise version of the African Growth and Opportunity Act.

"It is our hope that in the next few weeks the compromise will serve as a good basis toward the speedy adopting, finally, of a commercially viable trade and investment act between the United States and Africa," said Mr. Olhaye, the most senior African diplomat in Washington.

Diplomatic traffic

Foreign officials in Washington this week include:

Today

• Foreign Minister Youset bin Alawi bin Abdullah of Oman, who will accept an award on behalf of Sultan Qaboos for his contributions to the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies.

• Foreign Minister Halldor Asgrimsson of Iceland, who meets Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright and Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott.

• Marjorie Mowlam, Britain's minister for the Cabinet office, who meets Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman; Carol M. Browner, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency; Jane Henney, commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration; and Julio Mercado, assistant director of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Tomorrow

• Vladimir Lukin, vice speaker of the Russian Duma, who leads a delegation of parliament members for meetings with U.S. congressmen and senators including House Majority Whip Tom Delay of Texas.

• Former French Premier Michel Rocard and former Indian Prime Minister Narasimha Rao, who will convene a meeting of the Eminent Persons Group on the control of small arms. Other members of the group include U.N. Undersecretary for Disarmament Affairs Jayantha Dhanapala of Sri Lanka; former Foreign Ministers Celso Amorim of Brazil and Andrej Kozyrev of Russia; Peggy Mason, Canada's former ambassador for disarmament; Sola Ogunbanwo, Nigeria's representative on nuclear nonproliferation matters; and Lord David Owen of Britain.

Wednesday

• German President Johannes Rau.

• Israeli Justice Minister Yossi Beilin.

• Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou and Turkish Foreign Minister Ismall Cem. Mr. Papandreou will meet President Clinton's Cyprus coordinator, Ambassador Alfred Moses.

• Naken Kasiev, secretary of state of the Kyrgyz Republic, who will address a forum at the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute.

Thursday

• Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, who meets President Clinton on Friday.

Friday

• Walter Schwimmer, secretary-general of the Council of Europe, who speaks at the National Press Club.

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