- The Washington Times - Monday, May 28, 2001

5K diplomacy
President Bush figured if Nancy Brinker could organize a world-wide foundation to help cure breast cancer, she could easily be a diplomat.
Mr. Bush picked Mrs. Brinker, also a top political supporter, to be ambassador to Hungary.
"Nancy Brinker is a committed community leader whose efforts in the United States and around the world to raise breast cancer awareness have saved countless lives. Nancy will serve with distinction as our next ambassador to the Republic of Hungary," Mr. Bush said last week.
Mrs. Brinker, also a top Republican political supporter, founded the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation in Dallas in 1992 to honor her sister, who died of the disease. Mrs. Brinker herself is a breast cancer survivor.
The foundation sponsors 5-kilometer (3.1-mile) races to raise money for breast cancer research. It has 114 national affiliates and offices in Germany, Greece and Italy.
Mrs. Brinker was one of Mr. Bushs "Pioneers," political supporters who each raised $100,000 for his presidential campaign.
Among her numerous awards, she was named one of the 100 Most Important Women of the 20th Century by the Ladies Home Journal in 1998.
In other diplomatic developments last week, Mr. Bush picked Daniel C. Kurtzer, currently ambassador to Egypt, to be ambassador to Israel. He has served in Cairo since 1997 and is a former principal deputy assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research.
Mr. Bush also dipped into the Foreign Service to nominate Douglas Alan Hartwick to be ambassador to Laos and Thomas C. Hubbard to be the envoy to South Korea.
Since 1997, Mr. Hartwick has served as director of the State Departments office that deals with Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore.
Mr. Hubbard, a former ambassador to the Philippines and Palau, is assistant secretary of state for East Asia and Pacific affairs.
Meanwhile, the Senate last week confirmed former Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker as ambassador to Japan on a vote of 99 to 0. The Tennessee Republican served as White House chief of staff under President Reagan.


Warning Turkmenistan
The U.S. ambassador to Turkmenistan warned that Central Asian nation to reject Soviet-styled economic controls or risk a further collapse of its economy.
Ambassador Steven Mann also urged the government to respect the rule of law.
"Nothing is as important as the rule of law. It is most important in terms of economic growth and not just in terms of democracy and human rights," Mr. Mann said in a statement.
He urged Turkmen authorities not to "continue to support that same Soviet economic and political system that led to the collapse of the Soviet Union."
Mr. Mann is completing his two-year tour of duty to take on new tasks as U.S. adviser on Caspian Sea issues, which mostly deal with energy matters.
Although Turkmenistan possesses vast energy wealth, it still embraces a rigid, centrally controlled economy that has caused the near collapse of its currency on international markets. Its weak economy threatens plans for natural gas exports to Russia and a gas pipeline to Turkey.

Diplomatic traffic
Foreign visitors in Washington this week include:
Tomorrow
Paulo Renato Souza, Brazils minister of education, who addresses invited guests at the Woodrow Wilson Center.
Wednesday
Israeli President Moshe Katsav, who meets President Bush.
James Mawdsley, a British man who has fought for human rights in Burma. He meets members of Congress and addresses students at American University.
Thursday
Graca Machel, the wife of former South African President Nelson Mandela, who along with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan will be honored at the 28th annual Global Health Council conference.
Peruvian Gen. Alberto Arciniega Huby, who discusses Perus war on drugs with invited guests at George Washington University.
Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, who will be honored by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies.
Friday
Estonian Foreign Minister Ilves Toomas visits Washington.


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