- Divided court strikes down big porn award
- Jimmy Carter: Don’t hurt Russian people with sanctions
- Oldest ex-MLB player dies in Cuba, 2 days shy of 103rd birthday
- ‘Top Gun’ for drones: Squadrons of carrier-based killers have Navy’s approval
- Bill Clinton to endorse Charlie Rangel for re-election
- Pfc. Bradley Manning is now Pfc. Chelsea Manning: Court says so
- Secret base U.S. special forces used to train Libyans now under terrorist control: report
- 9th suspect in N.C. kidnapping turns self in to FBI
- L.A. sheriff admits to testing flyover spy program without notifying residents
- Foreign minister vows response if Russians are attacked in Ukraine
Embassy Row: Ambassador at risk
Ambassador Ali Suleiman Aujail has been a friend and supporter of Mr. Duggan and his colleagues — the relatives of the victims of an American airliner blown up over Scotland 25 years ago by a Libyan terrorist under the regime of dictator Moammar Gadhafi, who was overthrown and killed in October 2011.
Mr. Aujail has attended their memorial services and has pledged to help them find answers to questions about whether Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, the only man convicted in the attack, acted alone or on orders from the Gadhafi government.
However, Mr. Aujail also used to work for Gadhafi, who appointed him as ambassador to Washington in 2009. Mr. Aujail defected to the anti-Gadhafi resistance two years later. He was appointed ambassador from Libya’s new government in September 2011, about seven months after the revolution broke out.
Now the ambassador finds himself in the same position as other Gadhafi officials who joined the revolution. Libya’s parliament this week approved a bill to ban all officials linked to Gadhafi from holding any public office. The vote came after armed groups demanding the ban took over the Justice and Foreign ministries and stormed the offices of the Libyan state broadcasting service.
“I sincerely hope that your service to the revolution will be rewarded and you will continue in your position as ambassador,” said Mr. Duggan, president of the Victims of Pan Am Flight 103. “There is an old idiom in English dictionaries that says, ‘No good deed goes unpunished,’ which is unfortunate but a wry way of reminding us that there are unintended consequences to many of our actions.”
He noted that Mr. Aujail “took brave and vital actions” by resigning as Gadhafi’s ambassador in February 2011, a week after the outbreak of the uprising.
Embassy Row usually reports on U.S. ambassadors abroad and foreign envoys in Washington, but a diplomatic dispute between Ecuador and Peru over a food fight in a supermarket was too tempting to ignore.
The two South American nations fought three border wars in the 20th century, and the quick-tempered president of Ecuador is prone to expelling foreign ambassadors whose countries displease him.
The latest crisis erupted in late April, when Ecuador’s ambassador to Peru, Rodrigo Riofrio, got into a brawl with two Peruvian women in the checkout line of a grocery store in Lima. You can catch the video from the store’s security camera at youtube.com/watch?v=cnL5S6RMQks&feature=player.
The ambassador was struck first by a woman who later told reporters that she tried to cut in front of him in line, but she said she hit Mr. Riofrio after he insulted Peru, calling the Andean nation a country “full of Indians.”
Peru asked Ecuador to recall Mr. Riofrio. But Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa last week demanded an apology from Peru and threatened to freeze relations.
This week, Mr. Correa agreed to recall his ambassador, and Peruvian President Ollanta Humala agreed to bring Ambassador Javier Leon Olavarria back from Ecuador, even though the Peruvian envoy had done nothing undiplomatic.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
James Morrison joined the The Washington Times in 1983 as a local reporter covering Alexandria, Va. A year later, he was assigned to open a Times bureau in Canada. From 1987 to 1989, Mr. Morrison was The Washington Times reporter in London, covering Britain, Western Europe and NATO issues. After returning to Washington, he served as an assistant foreign editor ...
- Embassy Row: India strikes back over diplomat's arrest
- Embassy Row: India 'shocked,' 'appalled' by consular officer's arrest
- Embassy Row: Wife of Christian held in Iran feels abandoned by Obama
- Wife of jailed U.S. Christian in Iran calls for White House help
- Most Americans want no Iranian uranium enrichment: poll
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
Feds who send arms against ranch families betray American values
- CARSON: When government looks more like foe than friend
- Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy hailed as patriot, ripped as lawless deadbeat
- Pentagon plans to replace flight crews with 'full-time' robots
- Texas is next! AG warns BLM wants 90,000 acres after Bundy ranch standoff
- Georgia governor signs bill expanding gun rights
- Harry Reid using tax dollars to fight Koch brothers, La. GOP chair charges
- America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study finds
- Opposition rising to Colorado gun control laws
- IRS revokes conservative group's tax-exempt status over anti-Clinton statements: report
- Ukraine claims torture by pro-Russian forces on the heels of Biden's stern warning to Moscow
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Celebrity deaths in 2014