- The Washington Times - Monday, May 8, 2000

Renewal and reflection

Israeli Ambassador David Ivry talked about his hopes for peace only hours before his country retaliated against guerrillas in Lebanon and tensions flared again in the Middle East.

"In the Jewish tradition, spring is a time for renewal," he told the annual meeting of the American Jewish Committee last week.

He noted that Jews recently celebrated Passover and commemorated the Holocaust. This week they mark the 52nd anniversary of the creation of the state of Israel.

"This season is a reminder that the path we have chosen has not been easy. We have paid a heavy price in establishing and sustaining the Jewish state," he said.

"Our generation faces the tremendous challenge of closing the circle of peace," he added. "It is a heavy burden. There are no easy solutions. At this critical time, we need your support and backing. Above all, we must remain united as a community."

Mr. Ivry praised the committee as a "trusted and dedicated partner" of Israel's.

"We know that you will be with us as we embark on the final stretch of the road to peace. For this we are grateful," he said.

When Mr. Ivry spoke to the committee Thursday evening, he said Israel stood at a "historic crossroad," facing "critical and momentous decisions on the Palestinian, Syrian and Lebanese tracks that will shape the future of Israel."

Early Friday Israeli warplanes destroyed two electricity relay stations in Lebanon in retaliation for a Hezbollah guerrilla rocket attack on northern Israel, killing a soldier and wounding 27 other persons.

The Israeli attacks were condemned by Syria, and U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan deplored the escalation of violence.

Embassy good will

Ambassadors again are opening the doors of their embassies to support the good work by Washington's Davis Memorial Goodwill Industries.

The 54th Embassy Tour on May 13 features the English gardens at the British Embassy and the embassies of Brazil, Cyprus, Finland, the Netherlands, Russia, South Africa and Thailand.

"Both tourists and local residents have the opportunity to visit foreign soil without a passport," said Felipe Sampaio, a Goodwill spokesman.

"Embassy Tour guests may meet ambassadors … and purchase international souvenirs donated by Washington's diplomatic community."

Tickets are $30 per person in advance and $35 on the day of the tour. For more information, call 202/715-2637.

Diplomatic traffic

Foreign visitors in Washington this week include:

Today

• President Miguel Angel Rodriguez of Costa Rica, who is on an official visit. He meets President Clinton, Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, Treasury Secretary Lawrence H. Summers, National Security Adviser Samuel R. Berger and House and Senate leaders. He also discusses environmental issues with invited guests at the Smithsonian Institution. Mr. Rodriguez is accompanied by first lady Lorena Clare de Rodriguez.

• South Korean Minister of Commerce, Industry and Energy Kim Young-Ho, who meets tomorrow with Commerce Secretary William M. Daley.

Tomorrow

• Wang Gungwu, director of the East Asian Institute of the National University of Singapore. He joins a panel discussion on China before invited guests at a forum sponsored by the Ronald Reagan Institute for Public Policy.

Wednesday

• Mexico's Francisco Guerror of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, Carlos Heredia of the Democratic Revolutionary Party and Carlos Salazar of the National Action Party. They join a panel discussion on the July 2 presidential election with invited guests at the Heritage Foundation.

• Kadievski Dusko, Macedonia's minister of urban planning and construction; Strahinja Trpevski, undersecretary in the same ministry; Agim Gjinali, president of the Kosovo Foundation for Economic Reconstruction and Development; and other Kosovar and Albanian business leaders. They attend a business conference on Southeast Europe sponsored by Equity International. The conference Web site is www.rec-dev.com.

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