- The Washington Times - Friday, June 29, 2001

Justice for Bosnia

Bosnian diplomat Sven Alkalaj cheered yesterday when he heard the news that Slobodan Milosevic was being sent to The Hague to face war-crimes charges.

"This is very exciting. After all the crimes he committed, all the genocide, the butcher of the Balkans will finally face justice," said Mr. Alkalaj, who served as Bosnia's ambassador to the United States during the war in his homeland masterminded by the former Yugoslav strongman.

"This should serve as a clear signal to all fugitive war criminals that they will face justice," Mr. Alkalaj said.

The two most wanted fugitives in Bosnia are Radovan Kardzic and Ratko Mladic, who led Bosnian Serb forces in the war.

The war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, a former republic in Yugoslavia, cost 250,000 lives.


New from Vietnam

Vietnam has selected its vice foreign minister for economic affairs to serve as ambassador to the United States, according to reports from Hanoi yesterday.

The state-controlled media said Nguyen Tam Chien, 53, will replace Le Van Bang, Vietnam's first ambassador in Washington.

Mr. Chien, 53, was ambassador to Japan from 1992 to 1995 and has served as one of five vice foreign ministers since 1997.

Douglas Peterson, the first U.S. ambassador to Vietnam, is leaving Hanoi after July 15. Mr. Le and Mr. Peterson have cited a treaty to normalize trade relations as one of their greatest accomplishments.


Russian reforms

James Collins, the U.S. ambassador to Russia, believes Russian President Vladimir Putin has introduced "serious" economic reforms, but his human rights record remains "worrying."

Mr. Collins, completing his tour of duty, told the daily newspaper Kommersant this week that Mr. Putin has "established several important principles," which include a 13 percent flat tax.

"I tend to believe these are serious steps," he said.

However, Mr. Collins added that the United States has questions about "human rights in Chechnya, the problem of press freedom and commitment to political pluralism."

"The lack of clear answers to these questions complicate" relations with the United States, he said.


Dances with diplomats

Gail Scott — former television journalist, writer and chronicler of diplomats — is back in town, trying to wind down from a whirlwind month of travel that followed her storybook wedding in May at a historic Georgetown mansion.

Ms. Scott, author of "Diplomatic Dance," did indeed dance with diplomats, as she twirled with ambassadors from four nations at her wedding reception at Evermay.

She even married a diplomat. Her husband, Frederick Hubig, is a retired State Department official who served in Southeast Asia and South America. He also founded the Georgetown Center for Living History.

Ms. Scott, Washington's first female TV news anchor, and Mr. Hubig knew they would have a short honeymoon — a few days on Martha's Vineyard — because they were scheduled to attend his 40th class reunion at Colgate College.

But on their return from the Vineyard, Mr. Hubig's mother died, which added a funeral to their travels.

Ms. Scott, a proud Scottish-American, hired a kilted bagpiper to play as her guests entered the manicured grounds of Evermay, a federalist home dating to 1801. It was built by a Scotsman, Samuel Davidson, a Georgetown merchant who sold land to the federal government for the construction of part of the White House grounds.

Ms. Scott's guests included Ambassadors Alex Reyn of Belgium, Ivonne A-Baki of Ecuador, Jon-Baldvin Hannibalsson of Iceland, Heng Chee Chan of Singapore and Davorin Kracun of Slovenia and former Ambassador Miomir Zuzul of Croatia. Ambassadors Jaakko Laajava of Finland and Yury Ushakov of Russia sent flowers.

Her wedding party also included the son of a diplomat, Na Tasukon, whose father, Chalermchat Tasukon, was Thailand's ambassador to Cambodia.

Ms. Scott, who retained her maiden name for professional reasons, said, "I'm trying to get Fred to change his to Mr. Scott."

Fat chance. Mr. Hubig is as proud of his German heritage as she is of her Scottish ancestry.

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