- The Washington Times - Monday, December 3, 2001

Romania's turn
Romania has a chance to show its political maturity today when it hosts a summit of 55 European nations in its capital, Bucharest.
Romanian Ambassador Sorin Ducaru, in a meeting with reporters last week, noted that his country was following in the footsteps of Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, each of which chaired a meeting of the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) before being admitted to NATO.
Romania has been campaigning for NATO membership since the first round of expansion of the Western alliance in 1999. It hopes to be invited to join at a NATO summit next year.
"This is something we felt we needed," Mr. Ducaru said of the yearlong chairmanship of the OSCE, presided over by Romanian Foreign Minister Mircea Dan Geoana.
Secretary of State Colin L. Powell is scheduled to attend the second day of the meeting, which gives the forum added importance. In past years, U.S. representation sometimes has been at a lower diplomatic level.
Mr. Ducaru said hosting the meeting will give Romania "a large exposure of political maturity."
In Bucharest, the 55 foreign ministers will consider a declaration on a common campaign against terrorism. The document would commit the countries throughout Europe to share intelligence, tackle money laundering and control their borders to crack down on terrorists.
While there is a high level of agreement on the package, Mr. Ducaru said, the document still could run into trouble if ministers object to any of the details.
Between today and tomorrow, "it will be a hot night" of negotiations, he said.
"I expect a debate on the terrorist-action plan, not a quarrel, a debate," he added.
"We, like any other country that hosts the event, want to have a good document at the end of the meeting."
Romania has gained praise for its chairmanship of the OSCE from Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell, Colorado Republican, and Rep. Christopher H. Smith, New Jersey Republican. They are the co-chairmen of the Congressional Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, the U.S. line to the OSCE.
Mr. Smith told Mr. Geoana when he visited Washington last month: "I have been deeply impressed with your leadership, engagement and commitment."
Mr. Campbell added his appreciation for "the close working relationship" Mr. Geoana has established with the commission. Mr. Geoana is a former Romanian ambassador to the United States.

No Kurdish state
The U.S. ambassador to Turkey has sought to reassure Turkish lawmakers that the United States does not support a separate Kurdish state in northern Iraq.
Turkish lawmakers, who oppose Kurdish separatism in Turkey, said they were satisfied with the assurances given by Ambassador Robert Pearson in a recent meeting with the Turkish parliament's Foreign Relations Committee.
Mr. Pearson also presented a report on the September 11 terrorist attacks, noting that two names on the list of passengers in the plane that struck the Pentagon were members of Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda terrorist network.

Diplomatic traffic
Foreign visitors in Washington this week include:
Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson, who meets President Bush.
Paul Okalik, premier of Nunavut, Canada's newest political jurisdiction established for the Inuit, or Eskimo, people. He will brief invited guests at the Meridian International Center.
A Taiwan political delegation that includes: Bi-Khim Hsiao of the Democratic Progressive Party; Chi Su of the Nationalist Party; and Raymond Wu of the People First Party. They will discuss the outcome of Taiwan's legislative elections at the American Enterprise Institute.
Bulgarian Foreign Minister Solomon Passy, who meets National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz and members of Congress.
Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik, who meets President Bush.

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