- The Washington Times - Monday, September 11, 2000

Time for a debate

Vice President Al Gore and Texas Gov. George W. Bush may be squabbling over how to debate each other, but the Council on Foreign Relations is not waiting for them to make a decision.

The council has scheduled a series of debates on foreign policy with representatives from both campaigns. The first debate is scheduled for Sept. 25 at Georgetown University. The debate teams then move to other locations outside the Beltway next month.

"It's been 10 years now since we've had a serious debate on foreign policy, and in that time the world has changed enormously," said council President Leslie H. Gelb in announcing the debates last week.

"Our leaders owe it to the American people and to themselves to think through U.S. foreign policy and to tell us where they are going and why."

Sens. Carl Levin of Michigan and Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware have agreed to argue the Democratic side. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia and former Sen. Warren Rudman of New Hampshire will present the Republican case.

The council also features foreign-policy interviews with representatives of the Bush and Gore campaigns on its Web site (www.foreignpolicy2000.org).

"We must correct our relations with Japan, China, Europe, India and the Southern Hemisphere," says Bush adviser Richard Armitage in one interview.

Gore adviser Marc Ginsberg says the vice president "is a true internationalist."

Diplomatic traffic

Foreign visitors in Washington this week include:


• President Petru Lucinschi of Moldova, who holds a news conference at noon at the National Press Club.

• President Heydar Aliyev of Azerbaijan, who attends a conference of the United States-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce. His delegation includes several Cabinet ministers.

• Rwandan President Paul Kagame, who delivers an address at the University of Maryland's College Park campus at 2:30 p.m.

• Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar, who discusses the terrorist threat to his country's democracy with invited guests at the Woodrow Wilson Center.

• Slovak Education Minister Milan Ftacnik, who meets State Department officials and representatives of local universities and attends the Slovak Embassy's Constitution Day reception.

• Former Romanian President Ion Iliescu, who discusses Romania's November presidential election and the country's cooperation with the West at a 3 p.m. news conference at the National Press Club.

• German negotiator Otto Lambsdorff, who will hold talks with Deputy Treasury Secretary Stuart Eizenstat on the compensation of Nazi laborers.


• Mohamed Arkoun, an Arab-studies professor at Paris' Sorbonne University, and Abdou Filali Ansari of the King Abdul Aziz Foundation in Casablanca, Morocco. They attend a symposium on globalization and Islam at the Library of Congress.


• David Trimble, the first minister of Northern Ireland, and his deputy, Seamus Mallon, who meet President Clinton to discuss the new government in the British province.

• Indonesian Foreign Minister Alwi Shihab, who speaks at Johns Hopkins University. The lecture is open to the public. Call 202/663-5644 for reservations.

• Pat Cox, a member of the European Parliament, and Stephen K.N. Lau, privacy commissioner for personal data of Hong Kong. They join a panel discussion with guests invited to the Global Privacy Summit.


• Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, who addresses a joint session of Congress. He meets President Clinton on Friday.

• Muhammad Halyqa, deputy prime minister of Jordan, who addresses invited guests at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.


• Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, who holds a 9 a.m. news conference at the National Press Club to discuss his country's border dispute with Eritrea.

• Former Polish President Lech Walesa, who is the honorary guest at a dinner of the American Center of Polish Culture to recognize the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Solidarity trade union.

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