- The Washington Times - Monday, January 24, 2000

'Same air, same water'

Canadian Environment Minister David Anderson believes his country must clean up its own air and water if it expects the United States to do the same.
Noting that 50 percent of Canada's pollution comes from the United States, Mr. Anderson told a Washington press conference last week that he has set a goal to reduce greenhouse gases by 45 percent in Ontario, Canada's most populous province.
"Both our countries are large emitters of greenhouse gases. We face similar challenges in meeting our commitments," he said Friday.
"From time to time, we may experience disagreements between our two countries over environmental issues.
"But whether we are on one side of the border or the other, we breathe the same air. In many cities and towns, we drink the same water. And this simple reality is the strength of the partnership that we have on the environment."
Mr. Anderson said he held "productive and very friendly" meetings with U.S. officials and praised Carol M. Browner, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, for her "aggressive approach" to environmental issues.
"With up to 50 percent of Canada's air pollution coming from United States sources, we will reap many of the benefits of her energetic actions," Mr. Anderson said.
"If Canadians want that kind of action to continue, we must be equally committed to holding up our end of the effort."

Where's the beef?

Argentina's new ambassador is expected to arrive here today.
Guillermo Gonzalez, 57, has served in Ecuador, Peru and Switzerland as a representative to U.N. offices there. He also served in Washington in 1975 as a diplomat at the Organization of American States.
Mr. Gonzalez replaces Ambassador Diego Ramiro Guelar, whose passion was promoting Argentine beef in the United States.
He formed the Smiling Beef Club and invited prominent Washingtonians for a monthly barbecue reception at his residence where chefs grilled pounds of ribs, steaks and sausages.
The question many club members are asking: Will Mr. Gonzalez continue the practice?

Rebuilding South Africa

The new U.S. ambassador to South Africa says he intends to help the country rebuild its economy, promote education and fight the deadly AIDS virus that is running at epidemic rates across much of the continent.
Ambassador Delano Lewis presented his diplomatic credentials on Friday to President Thabo Mbeki.
"Among the many issues that confront South Africa, three of my priority concerns as ambassador will be education, economic development, and HIV/AIDS.
"Through the Binational Commission, we will continue to work with our South African partners on all these issues," Mr. Lewis said.
The commission provides a forum for the United States and South Africa to foster economic cooperation.

Diplomatic traffic

Foreign visitors in Washington this week include:
* Argentina's minister of justice, Ricardo Gil Lavedra, and Minister of Social Development and the Environment Graciela Fernandez Mejide. They are attending a "Roundtable on Justice and Reconciliation," which began yesterday. Mr. Gil Lavedra meets Attorney General Janet Reno tomorrow.
* Matti Vanhala, chairman of the Bank of Finland and a governor of the European Central Bank, who will attend ceremonies to mark the first anniversary of the euro.
* Colombian President Andres Pastrana, who meets with Gen. Barry McCaffrey, the White House coordinator of U.S. anti-drug policy, and attends a meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
* Tunisian Defense Minister Mohammed Jegham, who meets Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen.
* Javier Solana, secretary-general for foreign affairs of the European Union. He holds a news conference at noon at the National Press Club.
* Romanian Foreign Minister Roman Petre, who meets Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright.

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