- The Washington Times - Monday, June 11, 2001

Diplomatic beat
His colleagues know him as Alexander R. Vershbow, Russian specialist and U.S. ambassador to NATO.
His friends remember him as "Sandy" Vershbow, diplomatic drummer.
Stella L. Jatras recalls a reception in 1980 in Moscow when Bob Hope came to entertain his friend, Tom Watson Jr., U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union. Mr. Hopes drummer missed the gig, but Sandy Vershbow filled in.
Mr. Hope, accompanied by San Diego Chargers owner Alex Spanos, told jokes and danced a bit, while Mr. Vershbow, then a young diplomat at the U.S. Embassy, struck a quick drum roll after each punch line.
Mrs. Jatras, now a Northern Virginia resident, was there with her husband, Col. George Jatras, who was the senior U.S. air attache.

Back to Greece

Thomas J. Miller, who has handled some tough diplomatic assignments in his career, will move full circle if the Senate approves his nomination as ambassador to Greece.
Mr. Miller, now ambassador to Bosnia, served in Athens as deputy chief of mission from 1994 to 1997. He later became the State Departments special envoy to Cyprus, where he joined a long line of American diplomats trying to breach the divide between Greek and Turkish Cypriots.
In Bosnia, Mr. Miller clashed with ethnic Croat nationalists whom he accused of "trying to provoke violence" in order to dismantle the fragile union between the Serbian Republic and the Muslim-Croat Federation that comprise the battered Balkan nation.
President Bush released Mr. Millers name as his choice for envoy to Greece in an announcement last week that included the appointments of three other career diplomats.
He selected Michael E. Guest, former deputy chief of mission to the Czech Republic, to be ambassador to Romania, Laura E. Kennedy, charge daffaires at the U.S. mission to international organizations in Austria, to be ambassador to Turkmenistan; and Nancy Jo Powell, former ambassador to Uganda, to be his envoy to Ghana.
Mr. Bush, as expected, selected J. Thomas Schieffer, the former president of the Texas Rangers baseball team, to be ambassador to Australia.
Mr. Bush, a former owner of the baseball team, said, "Tom Schieffer is a committed member of his community and a proven business leader."
Embassy Row reported in May that Mr. Schieffer, a Texas lawyer, was the leading candidate for the position.

Diplomatic traffic
Foreign visitors in Washington this week include:


Romanian Defense Minister Ioan Mircea Pascu, who meets Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz and members of Congress to discuss Romanias desire to join NATO.
Han Seung-soo, South Koreas minister of foreign affairs and trade, who holds a 9 a.m. news conference at the National Press Club and later addresses the American Enterprise Institute. He also meets administration officials and members of Congress today and tomorrow.
Nobel Peace Prize winners Oscar Arias of Costa Rica, Lech Walesa of Poland and Betty Williams of Northern Ireland. They participate in a panel discussion for invited guests of the Greater Washington Society of Association Executives.


Rastislav Kacer, deputy defense minister of Slovakia, Margus Kolga, deputy undersecretary of defense of Estonia, and Romanian Defense Minister Ioan Mircea Pascu. They participate in a Slovak Embassy panel discussion on next years NATO summit.
Singapore Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong, who addresses the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council.


Jaime Ruiz, Colombias former director of national planning, who joins a RAND Corp. panel discussion on Colombias efforts to fight guerrillas and the illegal drug trade.
Justice Edwin Cameron of South Africas High Court of Justice, who discusses living with AIDS and the global AIDS epidemic at a 10 a.m. news conference at the National Press Club.


Heinz Moeller, foreign minister of Ecuador, who discusses free trade in the Americas at a 3 p.m. news conference at the National Press Club.
Queen Rania Abdullah of Jordan, who joins Rep. Henry J. Hyde, Illinois Republican and chairman of the House International Relations Committee, in the Mansfield Room at the Capitol to celebrate the passage of a bill to provide loans to help poor self-employed people.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide