- The Washington Times - Monday, December 16, 2002

Visit to Pakistan
A top State Department official is in Pakistan this week for meetings with the country's new national government and provincial leaders opposed to the U.S. military presence in the region.
Christina Rocca, assistant secretary for South Asian affairs, is expected to meet with President Pervez Musharraf, Prime Minister Zafarullah Khan Jamali, the speaker of the National Assembly and leaders of major political parties, according to the Pakistani Embassy.
United Press International quoted diplomatic sources who said she also plans to meet with officials of the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal, the six-party alliance in the Northwest Frontier Province that still supports the Taliban Islamic extremists overthrown in the U.S.-led campaign that liberated Afghanistan.
Several members of the alliance have said they want Gen. Musharraf to stop the United States from pursuing fugitives of the Taliban and Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda terrorist network, who are believed to be sheltered in tribal areas in the province.
Pakistani Ambassador Ashraf Jehangir Qazi said that the alliance supports Pakistan's role in the U.S.-led war on terrorism.
Round 2 for Brazil
President Bush plans to hold more talks with Brazil's new leftist president sometime early next year, according to the U.S. ambassador to Brazil.
Ambassador Donna Hrinak said at a forum in Washington last week that Mr. Bush and Brazil's Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will probably meet in the spring. Mrs. Hrinak was here to participate in the first meeting between Mr. Bush and Mr. Lula da Silva, who takes office Jan. 1.
"I think we have a chance to take this relationship to the next level. It could really be a stellar relationship," she told the Brazil-U.S. Business Council.
Brazil, South America's largest economy, is facing financial trouble as inflation reaches record highs, but Mr. Lula da Silva has pledged to keep a tight grip on spending and to stabilize the economy.
Mr. Lula da Silva told reporters in Washington last week that his meeting with Mr. Bush was better than he expected.
"I will go back to Brazil knowing that I can count on President Bush as an ally," he said.
Nigerian envoy honored
Nigerian Ambassador Jibril Aminu has received one of his country's highest awards in recognition of his public service and private medical practice.
In addition to being a diplomat, Dr. Aminu is a physician and professor of medicine who specializes in cardiology and hypertension. He has served as a consulting physician and senior lecturer at Nigeria's Ibadan Medical School and as president of Nigeria's University of Maiduguri.
He studied at the University of Ibadan and the University of London. He also served as a visiting professor at Howard University in Washington.
Dr. Aminu was Nigeria's minister of education from 1985 to 1989 and oil and mineral minister from 1989 to 1992.
Diplomatic traffic
Foreign visitors in Washington this week include:
Kanan Makiya of the Iraqi National Congress' human rights committee, who addresses the American Enterprise Institute.
Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz for talks on Iraq with Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice.
Peter Pi-Chao Chen, former vice defense minister of Taiwan, retired Vice Adm. Hideaki Kaneda of Japan's Okazaki Institute and Ching-Fu Chen of Taiwan's National Cheng-Chih University. They discuss U.S., Japanese and Taiwanese relations in a forum organized by the Heritage Foundation, the Okazaki Institute and the Taiwan ThinkTank.
Chris Patten, the European Commission's foreign affairs minister. He discusses the role of the European Union in world affairs at a forum sponsored by Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies.
Sheikh Abdulmajid al-Hooei, president of Iraq's Al-Kohi Foundation. He discusses the future of Iraq at a briefing organized by the Middle East Institute.
Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, who meets with Secretary of State Colin L. Powell about Iraq and the weapons' report by U.N. inspectors.

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