- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 10, 2001

Diplomatic cowboy
If the new Romanian ambassador ever called President Bush a "cowboy," he would mean it as a compliment.
Unlike Mr. Bush's European critics who think a cowboy is a reckless, dangerous American, Ambassador Sorin Ducaru remembers when the word reflected a rugged, freedom-loving image — a Frederic Remington figure riding a bucking bronco, a Gene Autry singing on the prairie, a Gary Cooper facing outlaws at high noon.
In the ambassador's residence, Mr. Ducaru proudly displays a photograph of himself as a teen-ager wearing a cowboy hat. The photo was taken when Romanians lived under a brutal communist dictatorship.
"That shows how much the American dream meant to a bunch of kids playing cowboy in the Romanian mountains," he told Embassy Row.
Mr. Ducaru also bought an acoustic guitar and played country and western music. Kenny Rogers remains one of his favorite singers. He also loves American jazz.
When the ambassador presented his credentials to Mr. Bush, he referred to what the American West meant to an Eastern European boy.
"I represent a country of Europe, blessed by God with natural resources and beauty, as well as the talent and the kindness of its people, a nation of Latin identity and culture, which shares the values and ideals of Western democracies, a people with an overwhelming pro-American feeling, inspired by the American dream and success," he said.
"As for myself, this moment is a dream come true — a dream from the time of childhood when I was fascinated by my readings about the United States, inspired by the American spirit of frontierless possibilities based on ambition and hard work and was proudly wearing a cowboy hat."
Mr. Bush praised Romania's progress toward a free-market democracy and its peacekeeping role in the Balkans.
"Despite a tumultuous past and tremendous suffering under communism, Romania has come a long way during the past 10 years," he said.
Mr. Bush called relations with Romania "one of the cornerstones of U.S. policy in southeast Europe."
Mr. Ducaru, 37, is the youngest foreign ambassador in Washington. He most recently served as Romania's ambassador to the United Nations.

Macedonian visit
Macedonian Foreign Minister Ilinka Mitreva plans to visit Washington tomorrow for talks with Secretary of State Colin L. Powell.
She told reporters in Macedonia that she will ask Mr. Powell to send NATO troops quickly to enforce a cease-fire and disarm ethnic Albanian rebels that are threatening the stability of the Balkan nation.
"NATO troops are necessary as soon as possible with a very precise mandate to disarm [the rebels]," she said on Sunday, after returning from a NATO meeting in Brussels.
NATO, which agreed last month to send 3,000 troops on a one-month mission to disarm the rebels, told the foreign minister that the time is not yet right for the deployment of the peacekeepers.
NATO has said Macedonia first must achieve a "cessation of hostilities" and a "successful outcome of the political dialogues between the different parties."

'Butcher' protected
Ambassador Thomas Miller, the straight-talking U.S. envoy to Bosnia, has accused the main Serbian party of protecting "the biggest war criminal in the world."
Mr. Miller told the Bosnian newspaper Nezavisne Novine that the Serbian Democratic Party is helping Radovan Karadzic avoid prosecution for war crimes at the U.N. tribunal in The Hague.
"They're still protecting the butcher of Srebrenica," he said, referring to a massacre in the Bosnian city during the civil war.
Mr. Karadzic, the former political leader of the Bosnian Serbs, founded the party in 1990.
Mr. Miller was responding to reports that suggest Serbian leaders will continue to shelter Mr. Karadzic even after the Serb Republic signs a cooperation agreement with the tribunal. The Serb Republic and the Muslim-Croat Federation are the two political entities that govern Bosnia.
Mr. Miller has also denounced Croatian nationalists for corruption and for threatening to dismantle the delicate governing balance established by the 1995 Dayton Accords.

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