- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 14, 2001

Not a beauty contest
The U.S. ambassador to Slovenia is urging the former Yugoslav republic to settle compensation claims of Americans whose properties were seized by the postwar Communist government.
However, Ambassador Nancy Ely-Raphel added, resolving that issue is not a "precondition" to Slovenia joining NATO.
Mrs. Ely-Raphel, who is ending her tour as ambassador there, told the Slovenian newspaper Vecer that Slovenia's admission to the Western alliance will depend on its military preparations and its political support from NATO members.
"Joining NATO is not a beauty contest," she said. "I think Slovenia has been preparing well and that it has good chances to get an invitation [to join NATO] at the Prague summit."
NATO is expected to consider another round of expansion at its summit next year in the Czech capital.
Besides meeting the military requirements, "joining NATO is [also] a political decision," she added.
"Parliaments of all NATO members have to approve a decision to accept new members," she said.
"That is why a political support of, for example, American senators is very important to candidate states. I think that Slovenia has gained enough political support in the Senate."
Asked about the compensation issue, she insisted that "there are no such preconditions to joining NATO."
"On the other hand, your government has to be ready to solve every open question which could get on the Senate's agenda.
"One of these questions is the property which was nationalized after World War II. This concerns not only U.S. citizens but also Slovene citizens.
"This should not be a condition for Slovenia to join NATO, but it is an open political question."
About 400 U.S. citizens claim property in Slovenia that was seized by the Communist Yugoslav government after World War II.
Mrs. Ely-Raphael will be replaced by Ambassador Johnny Young, who has also raised the property compensation issue.

Bush names 2 more
President Bush has picked a former chairman of BF Goodrich and a career diplomat in his latest ambassadorial choices.
Mr. Bush plans to nominate John Ong, who retired from the tire company in 1997, to serve as ambassador to Norway.
"John has a long and distinguished record as a leader in the business world and in his community," Mr. Bush said in announcing his selections at his Texas ranch last week.
"His commitment to public service makes him an excellent choice to serve the United States as ambassador to Norway."
Mr. Bush tapped Ralph Leo Boyce to serve as ambassador to Indonesia. Mr. Boyce is currently deputy assistant secretary of state for Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific islands. He is a former deputy chief of mission at the U.S. embassies in Thailand and Singapore.

Home from Romania
Jim Rosapepe loved to display art from his home state of Maryland at his official residence when he was U.S. ambassador to Romania.
When he returned to Maryland this spring, after three years in Bucharest, he persuaded the 12 artists whose work hung in the ambassador's residence to lend their work to the University of Maryland.
The collection, originally organized by the State Department's Art in Embassies program, is now titled "Maryland to Bucharest and Back."
"We wanted to show the work of these artists in Maryland because we saw what a strong reaction they got from Romanian and American visitors," his wife, Sheilah, told the university's newsletter.
The collection is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the lower level gallery of the University of Maryland's University College Inn and Conference Center, 3501 University Blvd. East, Adelphi.
Mr. Rosapepe, now a member of the UMd. Board of Regents, represented that part of the state in the Maryland General Assembly until 1998.
Mr. Rosapepe has also helped establish a program that allows Romanian computer science professors to qualify to teach as Maryland professors over the Internet.

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