- The Washington Times - Monday, July 15, 2002

'Biblical' blow
State Department diplomats at consular posts around the world are taking the resignation of Mary Ryan personally, you might even say biblically.
One e-mail circulated among the posts decried the forced resignation of the department's assistant secretary for consular affairs as a "truly sad day for the Department of State and for Consular Affairs."
Secretary of State Colin L. Powell last week asked Miss Ryan, the highest-ranking diplomat in the U.S. Foreign Service, to step down after reports of visa scandals involving Saudi citizens and suspects linked to the al Qaeda terrorist network. She was head of the consular bureau since 1993 and a career diplomat since 1966.
The e-mail from the consular section in the U.S. Embassy in Paris said diplomats had sent flowers to her State Department office last week, according to a source who sent a copy of the message to Embassy Row.
"Many other consular sections worldwide will do so, as well. It is meant to be a visible outpouring of support for a truly courageous, compassionate and gifted leader," the e-mail said.
It said a card accompanying the flowers read: "In appreciation for all that you have done for the Bureau of Consular Affairs and for each of us individually over the last nine years. Matthew 25:40."
The biblical reference is to a passage where Jesus thanks his followers for feeding and clothing him and visiting him in prison. When they asked when had they done those things for him, Jesus replied:
"Verily, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me."

Ambassador arrested
Zambia has arrested its ambassador to the United States on corruption charges.
Ambassador Atan Shansonga was arrested last week in the Zambian capital, Lusaka, after authorities accused him of conspiring with former Zambian leader Frederick Chiluba to embezzle money from a Zambian government account in London.
Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa told the National Assembly on Thursday that Mr. Shansonga received more than $1 million from the account.
Mr. Shansonga has been ambassador here since September 2000.

Diplomatic traffic
Foreign visitors in Washington this week include:
Austrian Interior Minister Ernst Strasser, who meets Attorney General John Ashcroft, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, Undersecretary of Transportation John Magaw, FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III, CIA Director George J. Tenet and James Ziglar, commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
Raimundas Lopata, director of Lithuania's Institute of International Relations and Political Science, who discusses Lithuanian foreign policy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski, who meets President Bush and Secretary of State Colin L. Powell on his two-day visit.
A delegation of experts on Asia for a program sponsored by the Fund for Peace. It includes Yasushi Akashi of Japan's Center for Preventive Diplomacy; Clarita Carlos of the University of the Philippines; Chu Shulong of China's Institute of Contemporary International Relations; Chung Ok-nim of South Korea's Sejong Institute; Luan Thuy Duong of Vietnam's Institute for International Relations; Paul Heinbecker, Canada's U.N. ambassador; Carolina Hernandez of the Philippines' Institute for Strategic and Development Studies; Ok Serei Sopheak of Cambodia's Center for Peace and Development; Masahiro Omura of Japan's Institute of International Affairs; Samsu Rizal Panggabean of Indonesia's Gadjah Mada University; retired Gen. Teerawat Pujtamanonda of Thailand; Juan Gabriel Valdes, Chile's U.N. ambassador; retired Gen. Ismael Villareal of the Philippines; Joris Vos, the Netherlands ambassador to Portugal; Wu Xinbo of China's Fudan University; and Brig. Gen. Yap Ong Heng of Singapore's U.N. mission.
Hernando de Soto, director of Peru's Institute for Liberty and Democracy, who addresses the Inter-American Dialogue and the World Bank.
Foreign Ministers Prince Saud al Faisal of Saudi Arabia, Ahmed Maher of Egypt and Marwan Muasher of Jordan, who meet President Bush and Secretary of State Colin L. Powell.

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