- The Washington Times - Monday, May 29, 2000

The greatest threat

The United Nations undercut him when he tried to stop Saddam Hussein from building weapons of mass destruction. The Russians took "payoffs" from Iraq, and the French, eager to do business with Iraq, undercut efforts to make Saddam comply with U.N. sanctions.
Those are among the sensational charges made in a new book by Richard Butler, the former head of the U.N. Special Commission responsible for preventing Iraq from building nuclear, biological and chemical weapons after its defeat in the Persian Gulf war.
Mr. Butler, now a diplomat in residence at the Council on Foreign Relations, warns that Saddam is placing the world at risk today because he has been able to rebuild his arsenal in the two years since Iraq forced out the U.N. inspectors.
Mr. Butler's book, "The Greatest Threat: Iraq, Weapons of Mass Destruction and the Crisis of Global Security," reads like a "suspense novel populated by fascinating characters," said James F. Hodge Jr., editor of the council's Foreign Affairs magazine.
"His message, however, is deadly serious. Unchecked development of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons is the greatest threat to life on earth."
Mr. Butler blames U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan for being too weak to force Saddam to comply with U.N. inspection of his suspected weapons sites.
He accuses the Russians of taking payoffs from Iraq and complains that the French ignored Saddam's violations of U.N. mandates because they were too eager to do business with Iraq.

Avoiding a 'crisis'

Canada is urging Congress to take quick action on a bill that would avert a near crisis that could damage trade and tourism between the United States and Canada.
Canadian Foreign Minister Lloyd Axworthy is thankful for a bill that was passed in the House last week to repeal Section 110 of the 1996 U.S. border-entry law.
The section, due to take effect in March, 2001, would have required every Canadian to fill out a lengthy form before crossing the border.
Business groups have predicted massive traffic backups.
"The potential impact on trade and tourism would have been very severe," Mr. Axworthy told the Montreal Gazette. "It would have been almost a crisis."

Teaching Serbia

Canada is urging Congress to take quick action on a bill that would avert a near crisis that could damage trade and tourism between the United States and Canada.
Canadian Foreign Minister Lloyd Axworthy is thankful for a bill that was passed in the House last week to repeal Section 110 of the 1996 U.S. border-entry law.
The section, due to take effect in March, 2001, would have required every Canadian to fill out a lengthy form before crossing the border.
Business groups have predicted massive traffic backups.
"The potential impact on trade and tourism would have been very severe," Mr. Axworthy told the Montreal Gazette. "It would have been almost a crisis."Teaching SerbiaSecretary of State Madeleine K. Albright says Croatia can set a democratic example for Serbia, long dominated by Yugoslavia's authoritarian ruler Slobodan Milosevic.
"I very much hope that the Serb people will be able to understand how much happier the Croatian people are now that they have had elections and have a president and a prime minister who reflect their choices," she told Croatian Television last week.
She added that she hopes the Serbs "can understand the democratic process." Mrs. Albright was interviewed in Florence, Italy, where she was attending a NATO conference.

Diplomatic traffic

Foreign visitors in Washington this week include:Tomorrow
King Abdullah of Jordan, who will discuss the Middle East peace process with President Clinton and other senior officials during a 10-day visit to the United States.Wednesday
Mofied Shehab, minister of higher education of Egypt, and senior Egyptian academics and scientists, who will appear at the Council on Egyptian-American Relations.
Luiz Gylvan Meira Filho, director-general of the Brazilian Space Agency, Antonio J.V. Guerreiro of the Brazilian Foreign Ministry and Archimedes de Castro Faria Filho of Brazil's Ministry of Science. They speak at a seminar on Brazil's space program in room 110 of George Washington University's Stuart Hall, 2013 G St. NW.Thursday
President Ernesto Zedillo of Mexico, who will also visit New York during a two-day visit.
Defense Minister Mario Fernandez of Chile, who meets Defense Secretary William S. Cohen on Friday.
Raul Alfonsin, former president of Argentina, who speaks at a conference on aging sponsored by the Inter-American Development Bank and the Pan-American Health Organization.

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