- The Washington Times - Monday, January 26, 2009

INSPIRED CHOICE

Ireland fondly remembers the role that George Mitchell played as a special envoy to talks that brought peace to Northern Ireland and congratulated President Obama for choosing the former senator from Maine to serve in a similar role in the Middle East.

“The appointment of Sen. Mitchell is an inspired choice by President Obama and further underscores his most-welcomed commitment to placing the Middle East peace process at the top of his administration’s foreign-policy agenda,” Foreign Minister Michael Martin said in a statement released last week in Dublin.

“We in Ireland remember with deep gratitude Sen. Mitchell’s key roles in our own peace process as chairman of the Good Friday Agreement negotiations,” he added, referring to the 1998 accord the settled the centuries-old dispute between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland.

Diplomatic traffic

Foreign visitors in Washington this week include:

Monday

Riaz Mohammad Khan, Pakistan’s former foreign secretary and former ambassador to China and now a scholar at the Pakistan branch of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. He participates in a Wilson Center panel discussion about Pakistan’s relations with China.

Berna Ozcan, senior lecturer in corporate governance and international business at the University of London and an associate fellow at the London School of Economics. He addresses the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars on the “paradoxes” of capitalism in Central Asia.

David B. Brooks, senior adviser to Friends of the Earth Canada, who discusses water issues between Canada and the United States in a panel discussion at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Tuesday

Fariz Ismailzade, director of the Advanced Foreign Service Program of the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy, who participates in a Heritage Foundation panel discussion of U.S. policy toward the southern Caucasus region.

Wednesday

The Most Rev. Raphael Cheenath, Catholic archbishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar in India. He discusses conversions to Christianity in predominately Hindu India in a forum jointly sponsored by the Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom and the Ethics and Public Policy Center’s Program to Protect America’s Freedom.

Denis Tull, senior research fellow at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, who discusses the political situation in Congo in a briefing at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.

Christiane Ouimet, public-sector integrity commissioner for the Canadian government, who addresses the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University on the question: “Does Good Governance Require an Official Whistle-Blower?”

Thursday

Frans Timmermans, the Dutch minister for European affairs, who meets administration officials and foreign-policy analysts to discuss relations between the United States and the Netherlands.

Ihor Lylo, considered one of Ukraine’s best political reporters, who is also director of two political radio talks shows and an assistant professor at Ivan Franko State National University. He discusses press freedom in Ukraine at the National Endowment for Democracy.

John Daniel, president and chief executive officer of the British Commonwealth of Learning; Peter Okebukola, former executive secretary of the National Universities Commission of Nigeria and now president of Global University, Network for Innovation-Africa; Andree Sursock, deputy secretary general of the European University Association; and Luc Weber, professor of public economics and rector emeritus of the University of Geneva. They address the annual conference of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

• Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297, fax 202/832-7278 or e-mail James Morrison

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