- The Washington Times - Friday, June 30, 2000

Cuba group taps Hays

A former U.S. ambassador who defied the Clinton administration over a change in policy toward Cuban refugees Thursday became the director of the Washington office of the Cuban American National Foundation.
Dennis Hays, a retired career diplomat, served as coordinator of Cuban affairs at the State Department until 1995 when he resigned from that post to protest President Clinton's reversal of a 30-year policy on Cuban refugees.
Under the new policy, U.S. authorities can pick up Cubans at sea and return them to the communist island instead of granting political asylum.
In 1996, the American Foreign Service Association honored him for "courageously" dissenting from the Cuban policy.
Mr. Hays, who retired this week, most recently served as ambassador to the South American nation of Suriname.
In his new position, Mr. Hays will hold the title of executive vice president of the foundation, which is headquartered in Miami.

Threat scraps party

The U.S. Embassy in Jordan Thursday canceled a Fourth of July party because of security threats.
"The U.S. Embassy regrets to announce the cancellation of its reception in celebration of the 224th anniversary of the independence of the United States of America which was scheduled for July 4," the embassy said in a statement.
Embassy spokeswoman Dana Shell Smith told the Agence France-Presse news agency the decision was "part of an ongoing review of the situation at the embassy in light of a … statement issued June 21," which warned Americans in Jordan to take extra precautions after a reported threat against the embassy.
A Jordanian official said the embassy is overreacting.
"The embassy of course absolutely has the right to invite people to the celebration or cancel it, but if it is tied in any way with the announcement made some days ago, we still maintain very clearly that Jordan is not thinking that it was necessary at all," Information Minister Taleb Rifai told reporters.
He said Jordan is "not taking any extraordinary measures as a result of this decision."
In Washington, State Department spokesman Philip Reeker insisted the United States "has full confidence in the government of Jordan's demonstrated ability and willingness to address security threats."
However, he added, the embassy was just being cautious.
"The embassy there decided to take this preventative measure to further minimize the chance of any incident," he told reporters.
"Each embassy, as you know, conducts its own security assessment.
"And an embassy … may decide to hold or limit or cancel its July Fourth event."

Schulte returns to NSC

An expert on Balkan affairs is returning to the National Security Council to serve as director for Southeast European affairs.
National Security Adviser Samuel R. Berger Thursday announced that Gregory L. Schulte will replace Christopher Hill, who is preparing to serve as U.S. ambassador to Poland.
Mr. Schulte is transferring from the Defense Department, where he has served for the past year as a principal director to the assistant secretary for strategy and threat reduction.
He served 10 years at the NSC from 1989 to 1999 as the chief officer overseeing the implementation of the Bosnian peace accords. He also concentrated on Kosovo during the rise in violence, the NATO air campaign and the effort to establish order in the Yugoslav province.
Mr. Schulte served on the NATO staff in Brussels from 1992 until 1998.

OAS, Israel sign pact

Israel and the Organization of American States this week signed an agreement to exchange technical information and provide high-tech training.
Lenny Ben-David, deputy chief of mission at the Israeli Embassy, and Haim Divon and Ronald Scheman of the OAS penned the pact to establish a Cooperation Fund in a ceremony at OAS headquarters in Washington.
"The agreement is a renewed expression of Israel's desire to expand cooperation with the people and governments of the Americas both bilaterally and multilaterally through the OAS," the embassy said in a statement.

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