- The Washington Times - Monday, July 21, 2008

Rocker reunion

The man once known as Hungary’s rock ‘n’ roll ambassador to the United States returns to Washington this week to gather his diplomatic pick-up band to play a benefit concert for political prisoners.

Andras Simonyi, ambassador here from 2002 to 2007, will be joined by Jeff “Skunk” Baxter, former guitarist with the Doobie Brothers and Steely Dan and now a national security adviser to the Pentagon; Lincoln Bloomfield, a former assistant secretary of state for political and military affairs; Daniel Poneman, a former aide to President Bush; and Dan McDermott, executive vice president of the Center for Regulatory Effectiveness.

The band, known as the Coalition of the Willing, will perform at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Madam’s Organ Club at 2461 18th St. NW in Adams Morgan. The concert will benefit “forgotten political prisoners” in Burma and Cuba, Mr. Simonyi said.

The ambassador is now chairman of the board of directors at Hungary’s Korda Studios where the new blockbuster movie, “Hellboy 2,” was filmed.

Diplomatic traffic

Foreign visitors in Washington this week include:

Monday

President Fatmir Sejdiu and Prime Minister Hashim Thaci of Kosovo, who meet President Bush. On Tuesday, they address the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

A delegation from Brazil with Cassio Andrade, a Socialist Party member of the state legislature in Para; Karina De Araujo, deputy member of the Teresina City Council from the Democrats’ Party; Pedro Feiten, acting national president of the Youth Organization of the Progressive Party; Edgardo Ladeira, youth coordinator of the state of Minas Gerais and a member of the Social Democracy Party; Elisa de Miranda Pimenta, a regional representative of the Youth Organization of the Democratic Labor Party; Antonio de Carvalho Pires, national vice president of the Democratic Movement Party and president of the state party in Piaui; and Eduardo Ribeiro, national deputy secretary of the Youth Organization of the Workers´ Party. They meet administration officials, members of Congress and representatives of the Democratic and Republican parties on a visit hosted by the American Council of Young Political Leaders.

A delegation from Vietnam with Nguyen Chi Binh of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organizations; Nguyen Thanh Hong, vice director of the Quang Nam Province Department of Foreign Affairs; Pham Hong Cuong of the Vietnam Institute for Water Resources Research; Pham Thu Linh of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organizations; Tao Thi Thanh Xuan of the International Programs Department of Vietnam Television; and Tran Thi Hong An of the Central Agencies Block. They meet administration officials and member of Congress on a visit hosted by the American Council of Young Political Leaders.

Tuesday

Nsekpong Udoh of Nigeria’s Community Partners for Development, Nancy Refki of the Injaz Egypt youth organization and Cesaltina Nunda of the Association Angola 2000. They hold a 4 p.m. forum in Room B-339 of the Rayburn House Office Building to call on the next U.S. president to focus more foreign assistance on women’s programs.

Wednesday

Mubarak al-Busaidi, an adviser to the royal court of Oman, who addresses the Middle East Institute.

Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia, who addresses the Americas Project on the rescue mission that freed hostages held by Marxist guerrillas.

Thursday

Gustavo Larrea, Ecuador’s minister of internal and external security, who addresses a forum sponsored by the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Inter-American Dialogue.

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

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