- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 10, 2002

Peruvian promotion?

Peruvian Ambassador Allan Wagner is likely to replace Foreign Minister Diego Garcia Sayan, whose resignation was announced yesterday by government officials in Lima.

Mr. Wagner, who served as foreign minister from 1985 to 1990, has been Peru's ambassador in Washington since October.

Press reports in Peru say President Alejandro Toledo is considering him as a replacement to Mr. Garcia Sayan. He has also been mentioned as a candidate for the job of prime minister, or chief of the government, to replace Roberto Danino. He submitted his resignation several weeks ago, but it has not been accepted.

The expected government shake-up follows a plunge in Mr. Toledo's popularity because of his failure to fulfill campaign promises of more jobs for the impoverished South American nation. A recent poll showed 76 percent of Peruvians disapprove of his performance as president. His entire Cabinet yesterday offered to step down.

Mr. Wagner will not comment on the press speculation, an aide said.

"Everybody is expecting the appointment to be made," a Peruvian diplomat said yesterday. "So far, it is just press rumors that he could be the next foreign minister or premier."

Mr. Wagner, 60, served as Peru's ambassador to Spain from 1988 to 1990 and to Venezuela from 1991 to 1992. He formerly served in Washington as deputy chief of mission from 1983 to 1985.


Lecturing the Serbs

The U.S. ambassador to Bosnia yesterday criticized the government of the Bosnian Serb Republic for failing to cooperate in the hunt for war criminals.

"We need more cooperation from the law-enforcement authorities and political authorities here," Ambassador Clifford Bond told Agence France-Presse.

He said the international tribunal in the Hague "would be very interested in having access to [Bosnian Serb] military archives" in tracking down 23 indicted suspects. The most wanted are Radovan Karadzic, Serbian leader during the Bosnian civil war, and his military chief, Ratko Mladic.

One Serbian war crimes suspect, Radovan Stankovic, was arrested yesterday by U.N. peacekeeping forces. He has been charged with raping Muslim women during the war in the mid-1990s.


India impatient

India's new foreign secretary this week expressed his country's displeasure with what he sees as a U.S. diplomatic shift toward Pakistan.

While the two South Asian nuclear rivals were on the brink of war recently, the United States warned American tourists to avoid India but rewarded Pakistan "with $8 billion for its cooperation" in the U.S. war against terrorism, Kanwal Sibal complained this week at a conference in New Delhi.

"One billion people did not feel threatened by an imminent nuclear war, but America said it did," Mr. Sibal said Monday. "There was no sign of India itself taking the threat seriously, but America decided to pull out its citizens."

Secretary of State Colin L. Powell yesterday announced he will travel to India and Pakistan later this month.


Trade rep's new aide

U.S. Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick yesterday announced he has appointed a former top aide to House Majority Leader Dick Armey to serve as his chief of staff.

Brian F. Gunderson, who was chief of staff to the Texas Republican since 2000, helped Mr. Armey win passage of trade-promotion authority in the House, which would give President Bush wider authority to negotiate trade agreements.

"I am pleased that Brian has decided to join our team," Mr. Zoellick said in a statement. "He brings with him well-honed strategic, management and legislative skills that will help us promote the president's free-trade agenda."

Mr. Gunderson replaces M.B. Oglesby, who, according to the trade representative's office, intends to concentrate on growing a "good tomato crop at his house in Italy."


View from Europe

Pat Cox, president of the European Parliament, will discuss "the emerging new Europe" today at a noon luncheon meeting at the National Press Club. For reservations, call 202/662-7516 or 202/662-7501.


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