- The Washington Times - Monday, January 28, 2002

Response to Zimbabwe
The lack of international pressure on Zimbabwe encourages the government of Robert Mugabe to continue oppressing political opponents and sanctioning black violence against white farmers, according to the International Crisis Group (ICG).
John Prendergast, co-director of the group's Africa program, has called on the United States, the European Union, the Commonwealth of the former British Empire and the Southern African Development Community to apply sanctions on Mr. Mugabe's government.
"There is too much bark and too little bite in dealing with Zimbabwe," Mr. Prendergast said in a new ICG report. "If meaningful action is not taken now, the leadership in [Zimbabwe] will continue to believe it can act with total impunity."
He held little hope of a free and fair presidential election next month and worried that the fertile southern African nation faces famine. Critics accuse Mr. Mugabe of unleashing black mobs against white farmers in an attempt to detract attention from his governing policies.
However, Simbi V. Mubako, Zimbabwe's ambassador to the United States, has accused the media of exaggerating conditions in Zimbabwe and relying only on the opposition for news.
"Mr. Mugabe has promised that elections will be free and fair, and he will deliver on his promise," Mr. Mubako said in a letter to The Washington Times on Friday.

Romanian corruption
The U.S. ambassador to Romania is worried that corruption is scaring away foreign investors and undermining Romania's judicial system.
Ambassador Michael Guest, addressing students in the northeast Romanian town of Lasi last week, said corruption has flourished since the country overthrew communism in 1989.
"The problem is that Romania hasn't really confronted corruption. As a result, corruption has become endemic in Romanian society," he said, according to a report from the Agence France-Presse.
"I know that this country needs foreign investment and that many U.S. businesses are reluctant to locate here because they are concerned about how corruption adds to the difficulty and cost of doing business.
He noted that Romania has decided to establish an anti-corruption court but added, "The time to start on that effort is now."

Diplomatic traffic
Foreign visitors in Washington this week include:
Hamid Karzai, Afghanistan's interim prime minister, who meets President Bush. Tomorrow he holds a 1 p.m. news conference at the National Press Club.
cChilean Foreign Minister Soledad Alvear, who meets with Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick. She holds an 11 a.m. press conference tomorrow at the Chilean Embassy.
Elizabeth Tang of the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade, who addresses the American Enterprise Institute on labor conditions and workers' rights in China.
cAli Kerimli and Asim Mollazade, members of the Azerbaijan parliament. They meet members of Congress and will speak at the National Democratic Institute and the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Hamilton Casara, president of the Brazilian Institute for the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources. He holds an 11:30 a.m. press conference on Wednesday at the Brazilian Embassy.
Mohammed Jassem Al-Saqer, chairman of the Kuwaiti Parliament's Foreign Relations Committee, who leads a 10-member delegation to meet with opinion leaders to discuss the war on terrorism.
German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, who meets President Bush.
Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kassianov, who has meetings planned with President Bush, Vice President Richard B Cheney, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill and Commerce Secretary Donald L. Evans.
King Abdallah II of Jordan, who meets President Bush.

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