- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 10, 2005

Mexico’s advantage

Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Ernesto Derbez is seen as the leading candidate to win today’s election for secretary-general of the Organization of American States.

The withdrawal Friday of Francisco Flores, former president of El Salvador, strengthens Mr. Derbez’s position in a two-man race against Chilean Interior Minister Jose Miguel Insulza, said Jorge Chen, Mexico’s ambassador to the OAS.

“We are much more confident. We have information that we have the support of all the votes that were going to Mr. Flores except the Dominican Republic,” he told the Associated Press during the weekend.

Mr. Flores, whose government supported the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, was seen as Washington’s favored candidate to lead the 35-nation group. El Salvador is the only Latin American country with forces still in Iraq.

Diplomatic traffic

Foreign visitors in Washington this week include:

Today

• Foreign Ministers Rafael Bielsa of Argentina, Juan Ignacio Siles del Valle of Bolivia, Ignacio Walker of Chile, Roberto Tovar Faja of Costa Rica, Francisco Lainez of El Salvador, Rudy Insanally of Guyana, Luis Ernesto Derbez of Mexico, Norman Caldera Cardenal of Nicaragua, Maria Levens of Suriname and Al Rodriguez Araque of Venezuela; and Camilo Reyes, vice minister for foreign affairs of Colombia. They will meet to select a new secretary-general of the Organization of American States.

• George Voulgarakis, Greece’s minister of public order, who meets Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff to discuss security issues. Tomorrow, Mr. Voulgarakis meets with Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III and Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns. On Wednesday, Mr. Voulgarakis meets CIA Director Porter J. Goss.

Tomorrow

• Italian Foreign Minister Gianfranco Fini, who meets with Vice President Dick Cheney and National Security Adviser Stephen J. Hadley.

• Petros Doukas, Greece’s deputy finance minister, who attends an annual business conference on Greek-U.S. relations.

• Isa Gambar, chairman of the Musavat Party in Azerbaijan, and Rasul Guliyev, chairman of the Azerbaijan Democratic Party. They discuss Azeri politics with invited guests of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs and the International Republican Institute.

• Bishop Alvaro Ramazzini of San Marcos, Guatemala, and Roman Macaya of Costa Rica’s Competitive Agricultural Group. They address the Washington International Trade Association on the Dominican Republic-Central American Free Trade Agreement.

• Zhang Jian, director of the press office of the city government of Guangzhou, China. He holds a 1 p.m. press conference at the National Press Club.

Wednesday

• Otton Solis, a candidate in Costa Rica’s presidential election next year, who addresses invited guests of the Inter-American Dialogue. He will discuss his opposition to the Dominican Republic-Central American Free Trade Agreement.

• Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland and United Nations’ High Commissioner for Human Rights. She discusses criticism of U.S. agricultural subsidies at a 10 a.m. press conference at the National Press Club.

• Minoru Makihara, senior corporate adviser and recently retired chairman of Japan’s Mitsubishi Corp., who is the guest of honor at the annual Asia Society Dinner.

Thursday

• Revaz Adamia, Georgian ambassador to the United Nations, who participates in a panel discussion about his country’s national security reforms with invited guests of the W.P. Carey Forum.

Friday

• Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos, who discusses Spanish-U.S. relations at a noon press conference at the National Press Club.

Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297, fax 202/832-7278 or e-mail jmorrison@washingtontimes.com.

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