- The Washington Times - Monday, May 21, 2001

Shared destiny
Elizabeth Jones seems well-prepared for a diplomatic job in which she will oversee U.S. policy from Iceland to Central Asia.
Mrs. Jones is a former ambassador to Kazakhstan, a former deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Germany and the current senior State Department adviser on Caspian basin energy issues.
President Bush has nominated her for the new position of assistant secretary of state for Europe and Eurasian affairs.
Secretary of State Colin L. Powell created the bureau by combining the offices of European affairs and the special adviser for the New Independent States to reflect the historic transitions in Eastern Europe and Central Asian countries once dominated by the Soviet Union.
"There are sound policy reasons for doing so 12 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall and nearly a decade since the collapse of Soviet communism," Mrs. Jones told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at her confirmation hearing last week.
"Our goal remains to support the transitions under way in states that once made up the and to strengthen their links to Europe and Euro-Atlantic institutions, such as the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Partnership for Peace, the Council of Europe, the European Union and NATO."
She said the merger of the two offices is "logical and timely" because the new bureau will promote "greater strategic coherence" in U.S. policy.
"The great lesson of the 20th century," she said, "is that the destinies of the North American and Eurasian continents are joined.
"If Europe is at peace, America is more secure. If countries in transition, such as Russia and Ukraine, develop stable and democratic states, both Europe and America are more secure."
Sen. Gordon H. Smith, who chaired the hearing, endorsed the merger as "long overdue."
"This merger ensures that the departments bureaucracy not only reflects but also more effectively supports our nations effort to fulfill the vision of an undivided Europe," the Oregon Republican said. "It will ensure that our policy toward Russia is a fully integrated component of Americas Europe policy."

Estonia and Ivory Coast
President Bush has selected career diplomats to be ambassadors to Estonia and Ivory Coast.
He wants to send Joseph M. DeThomas, a former deputy assistant secretary at the Bureau of Nonproliferation, to Estonia and Arlene Render, director of the State Departments Office of Southern African Affairs, to Ivory Coast. She was ambassador to Zambia from 1996 to 1999.

Diplomatic traffic
Foreign visitors in Washington this week include:
Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou, who meets Vice President Richard B. Cheney, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice.
Austrian Foreign Minister Benita Ferrero-Waldner, who holds a press breakfast to discuss the enlargement of the European Union and other issues. She also meets Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice.
Rabbi Arik Ascherman, director of Rabbis for Human Rights in Israel, who addresses the Center for Policy Analysis on Palestine.
The Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhists. He is expected to meet President Bush, Vice President Richard B. Cheney and Secretary of State Colin L. Powell. On Thursday, he will give the commencement address at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.
Israeli President Moshe Katsav, who meets with President Bush.
Anatoly Chubais, former chief of staff for Russian President Boris Yeltsin, who addresses the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
George Emile Irani of Royal Roads University of British Columbia, Canada. He discusses Lebanese-Syrian relations at the Middle East Policy Council.
Dr. Norbert Vollersten, a volunteer with German Emergency Doctors who was expelled from North Korea. He holds a 3 p.m. news conference at the National Press Club.
Estonian Foreign Minister Toomas Hendrik Ilves.

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