- The Washington Times - Friday, October 20, 2000

Diplomatic honor

U.S. Ambassador to France Felix Rohatyn stood in a city square in the southern French port of Marseille this week and remembered an American whose fame is growing 60 years after his secret mission in World War II.
Mr. Rohatyn joined city officials in a ceremony to name the square for Varian Fry.
As a 32-year-old book editor in 1940, Mr. Fry set up an American refugee relief office that served as a cover to help prominent artists and writers and others hunted by the Nazis escape from the puppet regime of Vichy France.
Mr. Fry rescued more than 3,500 people, including artists Andre Breton, Marc Chagall, Max Ernst, Jacqueline Lamas, Jacques Lipchitz, philosopher Hannah Arendt and novelist Franz Werfel.
"Fry was not the only person, American or otherwise, who stood up to powerful people and institutions," Mr. Rohatyn said.
"But by remembering him today here, we also remember countless others of every nationality who had the conviction to overcome bureaucratic obstacles, personal discomfort, and even the threat of punishment or worse, to do what was right."
Mr. Fry has also been honored by Israel and the U.S. Holocaust Museum.

Trickle down to Mexico

Mexican Ambassador Jesus Reyes-Heroles believes a new agreement with the Export-Import Bank will "accelerate [the] trickle-down effect" of the North American Free Trade Agreement for businesses on both sides of the border.

The agreement will provide three-year lines of credit with bank insurance for small- to medium-sized Mexican firms to buy U.S. goods.

"This translates into lower premium rates for Mexican borrowers and into immediate cash access to U.S. providers," the ambassador said after a signing ceremony this week.

"This agreement represents a new financial mechanism that will incorporate many small- and medium-sized firms from both sides of the border into our expanding bilateral trade.

"We are very encouraged by the impact it will have in accelerating and widening the access [those] firms have to NAFTA's benefits.

"New instruments, like this agreement, enhance NAFTA's trickle-down effect on the Mexican economy."

He said he expects the lines of credit to exceed $1 billion.

'Impossible' election

The State Department has dismissed the presidential election in the Ivory Coast before the first vote is even cast.
Spokesman Richard Boucher said yesterday the conditions surrounding this weekend's election make it impossible for the vote to be free and fair.
The Supreme Court of the West African nation has disqualified 14 of the 19 candidates, leaving military ruler Gen. Robert Guei as the strongest remaining contender.
The United States already has discounted Gen. Guei, who overthrew a democratically elected government in December.
"Recent events have rendered such a process impossible in the Ivory Coast," Mr. Boucher told reporters.
"We don't consider this whole process as looking free, fair and inclusive. I think that's pretty clear that we don't see the results as a valid reflection of the expression of the desires and will of the Ivorian people."

Scowcroft advises CSIS

Soldier-statesman Brent Scowcroft has added another title to his impressive resume with his appointment as a counselor to the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Gen. Scowcroft, who also serves on the CSIS board of trustees and chairs the group's Pacific Forum, will advise the prominent Washington think tank on all of its programs and projects.

"Brent will be a tremendous asset in shaping CSIS programs and ensuring that we address strategic issues in a bipartisan manner," said CSIS President and Chief Executive John Hamre.

Gen. Scowcroft, a retired Air Force lieutenant general, served as national security adviser to Presidents Ford and Bush and a military assistant to President Nixon. Other CSIS counselors include Henry Kissinger, secretary of state under Mr. Ford and Mr. Nixon; Zbigniew Brzezinski, national security adviser to President Carter; and former Sen. Sam Nunn, Georgia Democrat.

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