- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 26, 2001

Hunger in Africa
Two presidents and two prime ministers from Africa will join university professors and other activists in Washington this week to try to focus attention on hunger on the crippled continent.
Presidents Alpha Oumar Konare of Mali and John Agyekum Kufour of Ghana will join Prime Ministers Pascoal Manuel Mocumbi of Mozambique and Apollo Nsibambi of Uganda at a State Department forum tomorrowwednesday organized by the Partnership to Cut Hunger in Africa.
Mr. Konare will serve as a co-chairman of the forum, along with ex-Rep. Lee Hamilton, Indiana Democrat, director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and former chairman of the House International Relations Committee, and Peter McPherson, president of Michigan State University and a former administrator of the Agency for International Development.
"Political harmony, economic stability, the fight against AIDS — all can be strengthened by reducing hunger," the organizers said in a statement.
Mr. McPherson added that stability is directly related to a guaranteed supply of food.
"Stability — whether related to the economy, the political system or the health of the nation's citizens — cannot co-exist with hunger," he said.
"No nation ever has been able to substantially transform its economy, improve the health of its children or make any other lasting reforms without first sharply increasing productivity in its food systems."
The partnership was created last year to develop a 15-year plan to cut hunger in Africa, where 75 percent of the population lives in rural areas and mostly in poverty.
"We intend to put together a practical strategy on how to increase food production and rural income in Africa," Mr. McPherson said. "It's a strategy that will be presented to Congress and the new administration."
The conference, which is open to the public, begins at 12:30 p.m. in the State Department's Henderson Auditorium, a partnership spokesman said.

Second thoughts
The Clinton administration ignored violations of Middle East peace accords by Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in order to save the "peace process," according to the former chief U.S. negotiator.
Dennis Ross expressed his second thoughts in a newspaper interview in Australia, but his words caught the attention of the Zionist Organization of America, which distributed his comments.
Mr. Ross told the Australia Jewish Review, in a June 15 story, that U.S. diplomats deliberately ignored Palestinian violations of the 1993 Oslo Accords.
"Every time there was a behavior, or an incident, or an event that was inconsistent with what the process was supposed to be about, the impulse was to rationalize it, finesse it, find a way around it and not allow it to break the process, because the process seemed to have promise," he said.
Mr. Ross added, "I admit that did not take into consideration the gravity of Palestinian incitement [to violence]. I was too liberal on the subject."
He said he hopes the Bush administration will insist on "strict compliance" with the peace accords.

Three more envoys
President Bush has selected three career diplomats to serve as ambassadors to Jordan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan.
Mr. Bush last week confirmed earlier news reports by announcing he will appoint William Gnehm Jr. as ambassador to Jordan.
Mr. Gnehm, now ambassador to Australia, was director general of the Foreign Service and assistant secretary for personnel from 1997 until 2000. He served as deputy ambassador to the United Nations from 1994 to 1997. He was ambassador to Kuwait just after the Gulf war and later deputy assistant secretary for Near Eastern affairs.
Mr. Bush will nominate Larry C. Napper to serve as ambassador to Kazakhstan. Mr. Napper is director of the Office of Support for Eastern European Democracy. He is a former ambassador to Latvia and has also served in Romania and Russia.
Mr. Bush selected Frank Huddle Jr. to be ambassador to Tajikistan. He has served in Canada, India, Burma, the Philippines and Thailand. Mr. Huddle was the director of the State Department's Office of Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Island Affairs from 1994 to 1996.

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