- The Washington Times - Monday, December 17, 2001

Condemning bin Laden
Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar bin Sultan denounced Osama bin Laden as a "murderous criminal" after seeing the tape of the Saudi-born terrorist gloating about the September 11 attacks.
The ambassador, the dean of the Washington diplomatic corps, also condemned bin Laden for using Islam to justify his terrorism.
He was the first Saudi official to comment on the broadcast of the tape of bin Laden bragging about the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
"The tape displays the cruel and inhumane face of a murderous criminal who has no respect for the sanctity of human life or the principles of his faith," Prince Bandar said in a statement released last week.
"Bin Laden and those he mentions in his tape are deviants and renegades who do not represent the Islamic faith or the Saudi people."
Bin Laden, who was stripped of his Saudi citizenship years ago, appears on the tape with a Saudi man identified as Sheikh Sulaiman.
Prince Bandar said, "We reject and condemn in the strongest terms possible their attitudes and their actions. We hope that the perpetrators of this horrific crime will soon be brought to justice and severely punished."

India's outreach
Before the attack on India's Parliament riveted his attention back on terrorism, Indian Ambassador Lalit Mansingh was practicing a little diplomatic outreach to black lawmakers.
Mr. Mansingh met members of the Congressional Black Caucus on Wednesday to discuss India's long association with Africa and its support for black issues in the United States, the Indian Embassy said.
He invited a delegation from the black caucus to visit the embassy and offered to hold an event to celebrate Black History Month in February.
The ambassador met the caucus the day before five gunmen killed seven persons at the Indian Parliament building.

Party on
The U.S. Embassy in Austria wasn't going to let a little anthrax scare dampen its Christmas spirits.
The day after authorities confirmed that spores of the deadly disease were found in a mail bag, diplomats went ahead with their annual holiday party on Friday, the Agence France-Presse reported.
They also welcomed a new U.S. ambassador.
Authorities confirmed that anthrax was contained in one of several diplomatic pouches that had been quarantined in October after anthrax was discovered in the State Department mailroom, which provides postal services for diplomatic missions.
"We are concerned, but we are not frightened, and we are coming to work," embassy spokesman John Quintus said.
Lyons Brown, the new ambassador to Austria, arrived in time for the Christmas party. He said staff members could be tested for anthrax exposure if they wanted.
"But we're talking about mail sacks that were removed many weeks ago," he said. "From what I know about anthrax, if anyone had been infected, they wouldn't be around today."

Diplomatic traffic
Foreign visitors in Washington this week include:
Gordon Brown, Britain's chancellor of the exchequer, who discusses the need for a modern Marshall Plan at a 10 a.m. news conference at the National Press Club.
Gen. Lucas Rincon, chief of the armed forces of Venezuela, who speaks at the Interamerican Defense College. Tomorrow he meets Rogelio Pardo, deputy assistant secretary of defense for Western Hemisphere issues, and Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
A delegation from Taiwan that includes: Shyh-fang Liu of the Democratic Progressive Party, Alex Cheng-yuan Tsia of the Koumintang, Yong-ping Lee and Ta-chien Sun of the People First Party, Chen-Hsiang Chang of the Taiwan Solidarity Union and Lin Wen-cheng of the National Sun Yat-sen University.
President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan, who meets President Bush for talks about anti-terrorism efforts, energy issues and Kazakh economic reforms.

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