- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 5, 2005

Khalilzad to Iraq

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice yesterday announced that the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan will be Washington’s new ambassador to Iraq, a move anticipated with anxiety in his native Afghanistan.

Miss Rice said Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad will replace John D. Negroponte, whom President Bush named director of national intelligence.

“The president and I have chosen [Mr. Khalilzad] for this important job because he has a proven record of building consensus and achieving results in very tough situations,” Miss Rice told reporters.

Mr. Khalilzad has been ambassador in Afghanistan since November 2003 and is widely credited with having helped rebuild the country after the United States drove out Osama bin Laden and the Taliban regime in 2001.

His departure had been expected in the Afghan capital, Kabul, although top Afghan officials urged the Bush administration to delay the transfer until after the country’s parliamentary elections in September.

The head of Afghanistan’s top court wrote to Mr. Bush this week, urging that the appointment be postponed.

Mr. Khalilzad is “needed more than ever” in Afghanistan, said Chief Justice Fazil Hadi Shinwary, whose letter was published in Kabul.

“No one else can work as he has been doing or has done in the past,” he said.

Mr. Khalilzad previously served as Mr. Bush’s special envoy on Iraq.

OAS delays vote

The Organization of American States set a new date for the election of a secretary-general because many foreign leaders will be traveling to Rome for the funeral of Pope John Paul II.

The OAS vote, originally scheduled for tomorrow, will be held Monday.

Alberto Borea, Peru’s OAS ambassador and chairman of the OAS Permanent Council, conveyed the sympathies of the 35 member nations during a eulogy for the pope. He called the pontiff a champion of “humanity [who] transcended all barriers.”

El Salvador on Monday submitted a required financial disclosure declaration for its candidate, former President Francisco Flores. He is running against Chilean Interior Minister Jose Miguel Insulza and Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Ernesto Derbez.

Cyprus tackles graft

The ambassador from Cyprus cited a new agreement with the United States as proof that his government is dedicated to combating money laundering and terrorist financing.

Cyprus, once known as a haven for shady offshore corporations, has adopted stronger laws over the past several years as it advanced in its goal of joining the European Union. The European Union, which has strict laws against money laundering, accepted Cyprus last year.

Ambassador Euripides L. Evriviades said the Cyprus Unit for Combating Money Laundering signed an agreement with the U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network to streamline the exchange of information about suspicious business transactions.

“The United States and Cyprus have long enjoyed a strong relationship, and this new action further strengthens our record of close cooperation in combating money laundering and denying access to financial systems to those who fund terrorism,” the ambassador said.

“Cyprus is pleased to sign this memorandum of understanding [with the United States] and welcomes the opportunity to continue to work closely with the United States on this and other matters.”

The U.S. Embassy in Cyprus said, “Cyprus is an important partner in the global war on terrorism.”

Since 2001, Cyprus has ratified the U.N. International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism and approved all 12 U.N. treaties related to the fight against terrorism. Cyprus was also the first EU member to ratify the U.N. Convention Against Transnational Crime.

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

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide