- The Washington Times - Monday, September 24, 2001

No war on Islam
The U.S. ambassador to Singapore yesterday tried to explain that America's war on terrorism is not a war against Islam.
Ambassador Franklin Lavin noted that U.S. troops have protected Muslims three times since the end of the Cold War, when they liberated Kuwait, stopped ethnic cleansing in Kosovo and provided peacekeepers in Bosnia.
"In each instance, American servicemen put their lives at risk to save Muslims, so let no one spread the falsehood that America is against the Islamic faith or against the Arab people," he said at a multidenominational memorial service in Singapore for the victims of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
Singaporean Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong said, "This is a fight between people who stand for civilized society, and those out to destroy it. It will be a long struggle to make the world safer from terrorism."

Not a Kuwaiti
A suspect in the terrorist attacks is not a Kuwaiti citizen, Kuwaiti officials in Washington said Saturday.
Kuwaiti Embassy Military Attache Tareq Mezrem said one suspect arrested by the FBI was identified in news reports as a Kuwaiti, but a full examination of government documents found no evidence that Nabil Marabh ever held Kuwaiti citizenship.
Mr. Mezrem said the interior ministry searched civil identification records, and the foreign ministry confirmed the results.
"There is no Kuwaiti by this name," Mr. Mezrem said. "We will continue to cooperate with the United States and international authorities in this matter and reaffirm our pledge of support to America in its battle against terrorism."
Mr. Mezrem, recalling the U.S. liberation of Kuwait in the Gulf war, noted that Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheik Sabah Ahmed Sabah pledged Kuwait's unequivocal support for the U.S. war against terrorism.
The United States "will get everything she may ask of us," Mr. Sabah said. "America is our ally, and we do not forget our ally."

Imperial grief
Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan last week conveyed their condolences over the terrorist attacks to Howard Baker, the U.S. ambassador to Japan.
The Japanese Embassy said the imperial couple stated that they "are deeply grieved that so many innocent lives were lost under tragic circumstances in the United States on Sept. 11."
Mr. Baker promised he would inform President Bush of their expressions of sympathy.

Support from Belarus
Belarus might not like the United States any more than President Bush likes the authoritarian government of President Alexander Lukashenko, whom he calls "Europe's last dictator."
But the Belarus Embassy wants Washington to know that Mr. Lukashenko supports America's war against terrorism.
The embassy has released a statement by the Belarus foreign ministry declaring the country's "strong support of the coordinated efforts of the international community to fight against terrorism and to exterminate acts of terror."
"Belarus has never granted and will never grant financial assistance, information or asylum to the terrorists," the embassy said.

Diplomatic traffic
Foreign visitors in Washington this week include:
Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien, who meets President Bush to discuss Canada's response to the terrorist attacks on the United States.
Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, who meets President Bush tomorrow to discuss Japan's response to the terrorist attacks on the United States. He will be accompanied by George Hisaeda, deputy press secretary of the Japanese foreign ministry.
Brajesh Mishra, national security adviser and principal secretary to Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee.
Kimmo Kiljunen, a member of the Finnish parliament's mission to Moldova, discusses the continued presence of Russian troops in the former Soviet republic at a 2 p.m. hearing of the U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe in Room 334 of the Cannon House Office Building.

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