- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 9, 2002

The Danish view

The Danish foreign minister criticized the Bush administration on a litany of issues but insisted his country is America's greatest friend in Europe.

"No other country has maintained unbroken diplomatic relations with the United States longer than the kingdom of Denmark," Per Stig Moller said on a visit to Washington last week.

With Denmark now holding the six-month presidency of the European Union, the United States has a "long-standing ally and close friend" in Brussels, he told the American Enterprise Institute.

However, "We do not always see eye to eye on everything," he added.

Mr. Moller noted "the International Criminal Court, the Biological and Toxical Weapons Convention Protocol, the test ban treaty, the Kyoto Protocol, the death penalty and steel and foreign sales cooperation" as just some of the issues on which the United States and the EU disagree.

He was most critical of U.S. opposition to the court, which was established on July 1. President Bush has rejected the court's jurisdiction over U.S. troops serving abroad out of concern they could face politically motivated prosecution.

"Most countries have chosen to establish the International Criminal Court in order to enforce international law and order based on the respect of human rights," Mr. Moller said. "The United States is fighting for human rights and democracy all over the world and has decided not to ratify the treaty [that established the court], which I deeply regret."

However, Mr. Moller moderated his criticism of the United States by expressing his condolences over the September 11 attacks and endorsing the U.S.-led war on terrorism. He also supported Mr. Bush's call for reform of the Palestinian Authority.

"Our different stance on a number of issues should, however, not be exaggerated, and we must contain our differences," he said. "Let me tell you a big secret. We Europeans do sometimes disagree among ourselves."

America's three 'Ts'

The U.S. ambassador to China invited guests at his July Fourth reception in Beijing to enjoy a celebration of American "fun and informality" without forgetting the "grave crisis" of terrorism confronting the world.

"A Chinese scholar once said, 'America is a great nation because it has the Three Ts: vitality, ingenuity and creativity,'" said Ambassador Clark T. Randt Jr.

"These three Ts have their roots in the immigrant experience," he added, pointing out that the embassy's Marine guards have ancestors from Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, the Philippines, Portugal, Puerto Rico and Scotland.

"China has 5,000 years of history. America, if you include the Colonial period, has only 5,000 months of history," he said. "Nevertheless, there are some things about our country that are relatively old and special."

He referred to the oldest written constitution and the oldest functioning democracy.

Mr. Randt invited his Chinese guests to celebrate American heritage but reminded them of "our collective struggle against the evil of terrorism."

He thanked the Chinese government "for standing shoulder to shoulder with us in this battle."

Mr. Randt even expressed optimism over the disputes that divide the two countries, without referring specifically to Taiwan, human rights or other issues.

"Great nations will always have differences," he said. "But these differences can be managed by men and women of goodwill through mutual respect, candor and frequent consultations."

Boycotting America

Egypt would only harm its economy if it heeded demands for a boycott of American goods to protest Washington's Middle East policy, the U.S. ambassador to Egypt warned this week.

Ambassador David Welch, in a business conference Sunday in Cairo, noted that the United States is Egypt's largest foreign trading partner.

He called for the Egyptian government and business community to demonstrate "leadership in refuting calls for a boycott of American products, which harms Egyptians and Egyptian businesses more than it harms the United States."

Mr. Welch also congratulated Egypt for adopting a law to protect patents, copyrights and trademarks.

"The new intellectual property rights law strengthen's Egypt's investment climate," he said.

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