- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 8, 2001

Powell to Vietnam

The U.S. ambassador to Vietnam yesterday said he expects Secretary of State Colin Powell to visit the country in July for a meeting of Asian leaders.

Ambassador Douglas "Pete" Peterson told reporters that Mr. Powell, a Vietnam War veteran, will probably follow the example of his predecessors by attending the summer summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

"It's not a big secret that the U.S. secretary of state makes every effort to attend the ASEAN ministerial meetings wherever they occur in the world," Mr. Peterson said.

"And in this case, I would assume Secretary Powell would make that effort."

Mr. Peterson, also a Vietnam War veteran and a former prisoner of war, was appointed by President Clinton but is being kept for now as ambassador under the Bush administration.

A liberal summit

Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien wants the April meeting of leaders of the Western Hemisphere to promote "human security" and "social inclusion."

The leader of the Canadian Liberal Party outlined his goals for a liberal summit in Quebec City when he spoke this week to the Organization of American States during his Washington visit.

Mr. Chretien, who will act as host of the Third Summit of the Americas, told the OAS Permanent Council that human security "is unlikely to be attained in conditions of poverty and unequal opportunity."

He urged the OAS ambassadors to adopt "effective social policies … that will allow democracy and prosperity to flourish."

Mr. Chretien said Canada wants the Quebec City summit to advance "a clear and forceful commitment to strengthening democracy and fostering social inclusion."

"It will mean empowering local governments and safeguarding the rights of minorities, indigenous peoples, migrants and the disabled," he said.

Mr. Chretien expressed hope that the summit will conclude with "the strongest possible pledge to promote the legal, economic and social equality of women and men."

Dispute in Bosnia

The U.S. ambassador to Bosnia has angered two members of the country's three-man presidential panel so much that they reportedly came close this week to revoking his diplomatic credentials.

Zivko Radisic, the Serbian chairman of the collective presidency, and Ante Jelavic, the Croatian member, have complained that Ambassador Thomas Miller has interfered with Bosnia's domestic affairs by publicly criticizing the rise of nationalist political parties.

Bosnian news reports on Tuesday said Mr. Radisic and Mr. Jelavic favored expelling Mr. Miller. The third member, Muslim Halid Genjac, argued such a move would have "unforeseen consequences" on U.S.-Bosnian relations.

Mr. Radisic yesterday told reporters they had not specifically discussed Mr. Miller.

"We mentioned no names then, but we said that the presidency can raise the issue of credentials depending on behavior," he said.

"With due respect for U.S. Ambassador Thomas Miller, I personally disagree sometimes with his behavior and political actions, because he oversteps sometimes the limits of normal diplomatic behavior," Mr. Radisic added.

The U.S. Embassy dismissed his complaints, saying Mr. Miller's activities are "completely compatible with the responsibilities of every U.S. ambassador."

The State Department suggested Mr. Radisic's comments were part of "internal political maneuvering" and expressed "full confidence in Ambassador Miller."

'Goodwill' aid

U.S. Ambassador to China Joseph Prueher has presented a check for $100,000 to help victims of a blizzard in China's Inner Mongolia region.

Mr. Prueher called the aid "a symbol of goodwill," as he donated the money to a representative of the Red Cross Society of China at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing last week.

The American Red Cross has given $50,000 in disaster relief.

At least 27 persons died in a 70-hour snowstorm in late December, according to Chinese news reports. The Xinhua News Agency said the blizzard has disrupted the lives of 1.6 million people.

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