- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 24, 2001

Lebanon patient
Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, who is due to meet President Bush today, says he is not concerned about White House plans to re-examine U.S. Middle East policy.
"There is no doubt it is assessing the political consequences of the previous administrations (Middle East policies)," Mr. Hariri told Vatican Radio yesterday in an interview after meeting Pope John Paul II.
"Every new administration requires between four or five months to start its Mideast moves."
Mr. Hariri said his trip, which will also take him to Canada and France, "aims to garner more support for Lebanon in the face of all threats the country is facing, whether political, regional or economic."
He said Lebanon is a "friend to all countries of the world except for Israel."
In Washington, Mr. Hariri is also scheduled to meet Vice President Richard B. Cheney, Secretary of State Colin Powell, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, Treasury Secretary Paul ONeill, members of Congress and the heads of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
Mr. Hariri is the third Arab leader to meet Mr. Bush, after Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Jordans King Abdullah.


Croat 'intimidation

The U.S. ambassador to Bosnia-Herzegovina yesterday denounced ethnic Croat nationalists for "trying to provoke violence" to stir up support for a losing cause.
Ambassador Thomas Miller said at a news conference that the Croatian Democratic Union, known by the initials HDZ, is desperate to raise money.
"What the HDZ is trying to do is provoke violence because I think their tactics are that if they can get violence they can breathe more life into this movement," Mr. Miller said.
"Theyre using fear and intimidation and bribery and all the rest of the stuff, and so far neither the government nor the international community is going to take the bait. So my sense is time is working against them."
The HDZ opened a campaign for more power for the ethnic-Croat part of Bosnias Muslim-Croat federation, which was created through the Dayton accords that ended the 1992-95 civil war. The Serb Republic makes up the other half of the country.
Mr. Miller advised the Croats to negotiate for more rights within the federation but suspects they really want to provoke a crisis and divide it.
"I think one of the tactics of the HDZ is to try to see if they can find splits," he said.

Threat to kill envoy
The U.S. ambassador to Kenya was the target of death threats from three Kenyan U.N. workers.
The Kenyans were charged yesterday with threatening the life of Ambassador Johnnie Carson, as well as the head of the U.N. refugee agency and other U.N. officials.
Agence France-Presse reported from Nairobi that the three defendants were involved in a scheme to defraud refugees out of tens of thousands of dollars as the price to process their claims for resettlement.
Officials told reporters the three Kenyans plotted to write a death threat to the ambassador with the forged signature of Osama bin Laden. The threats were designed to cover up their scheme, officials said. The United States has accused bin Laden of planning the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
News reports identified the defendants as George Ngodhe Juma, Peter Okoth Alingo and Susan Muthoni Nyoike, who all worked for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.

Brauer to Belgium
President Bush has selected an honorary consul of Belgium to be the next U.S. ambassador to Belgium.
Stephen Brauer, chairman and chief executive officer of Hunter Engineering Co. of St. Louis, has served in the ceremonial post since 1993.
"Stephen is a successful business and community leader in St. Louis. His substantial experience with the Belgian people through his work as honorary consul of Belgium for eastern Missouri makes him an excellent choice for ambassador," Mr. Bush said.
He has been involved in the St. Louis Area Council of Boy Scouts, the St. Louis Art Museum and the Missouri Botanical Gardens.

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