- The Washington Times - Monday, February 18, 2002

French 'vapors'
French Ambassador Francois Bujon says he dropped by the State Department last week to discuss plans for a trip to Paris by A. Elizabeth Jones, assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs.
The State Department, however, said Mr. Bujon was summoned to explain statements by French Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine, who has criticized U.S. foreign policy, calling it simplistic for concentrating too much on the war on terrorism.
"The ambassador was called in," one State Department source told Reuters news agency.
Mr. Bujon, in remarks to reporters after the meeting Friday, said Mrs. Jones had inquired about the foreign minister's remarks but he insisted the meeting focused on plans for her trip, scheduled for this week.
"Mrs. Jones did not call me in to protest the minister's remarks," Mr. Bujon said. "It was business as usual."
Mr. Vedrine earlier this month had criticized U.S. foreign policy, saying "we are threatened by a new simplism that consists in reducing everything to the war on terrorism."
"That is their approach, but we cannot accept that idea," he added. "You have go to tackle the root causes [of terrorism], the situations, poverty, injustice."
Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, in an interview in the Financial Times last week, said U.S. foreign policy has not substantially changed and that Europeans are overreacting. He asked, "What policies and plans have really changed so radically to be causing all this distress, [with] Mr. Vedrine getting the vapors and what not?"

New from Indonesia
The new ambassador from Indonesia praised the United States as a "true and lasting friend" when he presented his diplomatic credentials to President Bush last week.
Ambassador Soemadi Djoko Moerdjono Brotodiningrat said Indonesians are "grateful for the unwavering support of the United States for a united, stable, prosperous and democratic Indonesia."
He also reiterated his country's support for the U.S. war on terrorism. The United States recently recognized Indonesia as a model in Southeast Asia for its efforts to combat terrorism.
Mr. Bush promised to "help you reform and modernize your economy." He added, "Indonesia is a great nation, a vibrant democracy and a vital friend."
Mr. Brotodiningrat is a former ambassador to Japan and to the United Nations.

Lithuania caucus
Lithuanian Ambassador Vygaudas Usackas has welcomed a new member of the Senate Baltic Freedom Caucus.
Sen. George F. Allen, Virginia Republican, announced he will join the caucus at a Lithuanian Embassy reception last week. Mr. Allen, the eighth member of the caucus, is a co-sponsor of the Freedom Consolidation Act, a bill that endorses NATO expansion and increases military aid to Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. The three Baltic nations hope to join NATO in the next round of expansion.
Mr. Allen's membership on the caucus "will strengthen [congressional] interest in the Baltic states," Mr. Usackas said.

Diplomatic traffic
Foreign visitors in Washington this week include:
Tomorrow
Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Sylvan Shalom.
Wednesday
Panamanian Vice President Dominador Kaiser Bazan, who participates in a forum at the Inter-American Development Bank. On Friday, he addresses the Greater American Business Council.
Thursday
Richard Rose of the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland, who addresses Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty on the efforts of Central and Eastern European nations to integrate into the European Union and other organizations.
Karl Kaiser, director of the German Council on Foreign Relations, who holds a 2 p.m. news conference at the National Press Club to discuss how September 11 changed U.S.-German relations.
Friday
L.A. Geelhoed, advocate general at the Court of Justice of the European Communities, who addresses invited guests at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies on the impact of the new European currency, the euro.

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