- The Washington Times - Friday, May 12, 2000

Sand to silicon chips

To Israeli Ambassador David Ivry, "IT" means Israeli technology.

Mr. Ivry, speaking this week on Israel's independence day, noted that Israelis have realized their 2,000-year-old dream of uniting Jerusalem and have excelled in information technology.

"From the struggles of the pioneers and the ashes of the Holocaust, we have seen the rebirth of our nation," he said. "As millions of Jews from all corners of the earth have returned to their homeland, our cities and towns have witnessed a cultural renaissance."

"Through our technology and innovation, we have made the desert bloom," he told guests Wednesday at the Israeli Embassy's 53rd National Day celebration.

"We have turned the desert sand into silicon chips and leapt from gravel roads to the information superhighway. At the dawn of the 21st century, our potential is enormous."

Mr. Ivry also praised the United States for its support, saying, "The people of Israel will always be grateful."

He expressed hope for peace efforts with Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese.

"Our dreams will not be complete until we close the circle of peace. We hope and pray that this year, our vision of peace will be welcomed by all of our neighbors," he said.

"All of us, including those who were lost along the way, dreamed of leaving our children a legacy of peace, not the sword.

"But we have learned that the sword is still needed to ensure peace, that the struggle for peace has proven more difficult than we expected, [and] that it is easier to dream than to turn the vision into reality.

"Yet we will never cease to hope for the day when our swords will be beaten into plowshares."

Lower expectations

South Korean Ambassador Lee Hong-koo is cautioning against optimism over next month's summit between his country and North Korea.

North Korea's Stalinist government makes any talks on reunification of the Korean peninsula difficult, he told an audience at Johns Hopkins University this week.

"Generally, when North Korea makes one step forward, the past record is they take two steps back," Mr. Lee said.

"We hope that a very positive atmosphere will be created in that meeting, so that in subsequent meetings we can make major progress, but excessive optimism is something we should refrain from."

South Korean President Kim Dae-jung and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il are due to meet June 12-14 in North Korea.

It will be the first talks between leaders of the two countries.

Sharif prime minister?

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was overthrown in October and convicted of hijacking and terrorism last month.

Yet until Thursday he was still listed as the head of government on the Web site of Pakistan's mission to the United Nations. His entire Cabinet, long since dismissed, was also listed.

A Pakistani official said the problem was a technical one, involving a new Internet server used by the United Nations. Some files would not transfer.

In addition, the Pakistani computer specialist in charge of the Web site was transferred and no one realized that Sharif was still listed as prime minister until "someone pointed it out last week," said the official, who asked not to be identified.

The Pakistani official insisted the problem was a minor one, but a Pakistani-American e-mail news service Thursday made a big fuss about the Web site.

"The Musharraf Administration was formed in October 1999, but even after seven months of Army rule …, [Pakistani U.N. Ambassador] Shamshad Ahmad, Inam ul Haque, foreign secretary of Pakistan … and Abdul Sattar, foreign minister of Pakistan, failed to change the Nawaz Sharif Cabinet list to the Gen. [Pervez] Musharraf Cabinet list in the Pakistan mission web site," Syed Adeeb wrote in the Information Times.

"Now Americans and other people of the world who visit the Pakistan mission web site think that Nawaz Sharif is still the prime minister of Pakistan."

Late Thursday the Web site (www.un.int/pakistan) showed the correct lineup with Gen. Musharraf replacing Sharif.

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