- The Washington Times - Friday, April 19, 2002

Israeli envoy goes home
Israeli Ambassador David Ivry returned home yesterday to a region in turmoil, two years after he took up the position in Washington when the Middle East appeared poised for peace and security.
Mr. Ivry recounted his tenure as ambassador and thanked the United States for its "overwhelming friendship," as he greeted guests at Israel's Independence Day reception Wednesday evening.
Vice President Richard B. Cheney praised the ambassador as "one of Israel's greatest public servants" and called him "my friend."
"Israel has always depended on men of David's caliber decisive, courageous, far-sighted," Mr. Cheney said. "In moments of danger, he has defended his county brilliantly."
Mr. Ivry, a highly decorated fighter pilot, has served as commander of the Israeli air force, director-general of the Ministry of Defense and national security adviser. He directed the destruction of Iraq's nuclear reactor in 1981 and Syria's anti-aircraft batteries in Lebanon in 1982.
Mr. Cheney, secretary of defense during the Gulf war, said Mr. Ivry's pre-emptive strike in Iraq made "America's mission infinitely more manageable" when the U.S.-led coalition drove Iraq out of Kuwait in 1991.
Mr. Cheney spoke strongly of Israel's fight against terrorism without a hint of President Bush's demand two weeks ago for Israel to cease its mission to crush Palestinian terrorist cells.
"Israel has lived on the front lines of the struggle for decades," Mr. Cheney said. "Israel knows the merciless carnage that terrorists can inflict. And Israel knows that if peace is to prevail, all terrorism must end."
Mr. Ivry told his guests that he was "overcome with emotion knowing that this will be my last speech as ambassador."
"I feel solidarity with America, our partner in the pursuit of security and peace," he said. "I feel confidence in our future because Israel is a strong and vibrant nation."
Mr. Ivry, ambassador since January 2000, said he and his wife, Ofra, "return to an Israel far different from that which we left."
"I am overcome with sadness and dismay," he said. "Two years ago, I was under the impression that we stood at the dawn of a new era of regional stability and peace."
Now, Israel must defeat terrorism if it is to live in peace, he said.
"Peace and terrorism cannot coexist," he said. "If we become complacent toward terrorists and suicide bombers, these dangers will spread to every nation.
"Our struggle against terror is not just in defense of Israel. It is also in defense of mankind."

NATO's new threats
NATO must focus on the threats of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, said a top U.S. diplomat visiting European capitals to discuss the next round of expansion of the Western alliance.
Marc Grossman, undersecretary of state for political affairs, said terrorism and biological and chemical weapons are the "new threat" facing the alliance, after a meeting in Turkey with Ugur Ziyal, undersecretary at the Turkish Foreign Ministry.
"These are the new threats. These are the kinds of things the alliance ought to be talking about," Mr. Grossman told the Associated Press.
Mr. Grossman also recommitted the United States to a further expansion of the alliance at a NATO summit meeting in November.
"NATO should continue to be open and expand to the new democracies of Europe that are ready to bear the responsibilities," he said.
Mr. Ziyal added, "Turkey wants the expansion to be as broad as possible."
Albania, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia have applied for NATO membership.
Meanwhile, another U.S. envoy pledged that the United States would work closely with NATO to apprehend the two most wanted war-crimes suspects in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Pierre-Richard Prosper, the U.S. ambassador at large for war crimes, said Bosnia cannot return to normal until Radovan Karadzic, Ratko Mladic and about 20 other fugitives are turned over to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. The court has indicted Mr. Karadzic, the wartime Bosnian Serb president, and Gen. Mladic, his military commander, for genocide during the 1992-95 war.

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